Ministry of Culture announces new board for 5 museums
Each museum has seven board members and one general director or CEO.
Under a law that passed on the ruling New Democracy party's votes in February (5021/2023), the 5 museums will continue receiving State funds but will also be independently responsible for fundraising and outreach campaigns.
More specifically, the government announced the names of the presidents, vice-presidents and CEOs of 5 museums which recently became private entities.
Under legislation passed on February, 5 of the country’s top State museums, including the archaeological museums of Athens and Thessaloniki, were removed from direct Culture Ministry control, in an attempt to give them more freedom and responsibility, particularly in fundraising and outreach campaigns.
In mid-February, the parliamentary majority of ruling New Democracy party voted the government’s proposal to alter the regime governing 5 of Greece’s largest museums. Opposition parties PASOK, the Communist Party, DiEM25, and Greek Solution all voted against the motion.
SYRIZA abstained from the parliamentary vote, as it had announced, but expressed its opposition to the government’s proposals.
The new legislation seeks to wean 5 of Greece’s top State museums, including the archaeological museums of Athens and Thessaloniki, from the Culture Ministry, giving them more freedom – and responsibility.
Run under the new law by a ministry-appointed general director and board, the museums will raise funds, seek sponsors and campaign for donors, but will also be able to operate branches and strike partnerships in Greece and abroad, instead of relying exclusively on the ministry for funding and outreach.
However, the ministry will maintain a supervisory role and will continue to be the main source of funding.
Listed below are the names of each museum's top leadership in order of board president, vice-president, and CEO:
- National Archaeological Museum: Dimitris Economou, Maria Lagogianni-Georgarakou, Anna-Vassiliki Karapanagiotou
- Byzantine & Christian Museum of Athens: Giorgos Panetsos, Natalia Poulou, Katerina Dellaporta
- Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki: Niki Manou-Andreadi, Vassiliki Missailidou-Despotidou, Anastasi Gadolou
- Museum of Byzantine Culture of Thessaloniki: Charalambos Bakirtzis, Yiannis Kanonidis, Agathoniki Tsilipakou
- Archaeological Museum of Heraklion: Ioakeim Gryspolakis, Constantinos-Alketas Ugrinis, Stella Chryssoulaki
In its announcement of the appointees, the ministry also noted that under the new law "the board members appointed are individuals who have contributed to their professional or social sphere, people of recognized stature in the arts, literature, and science. In addition, every museum has a board member who is selected from among the directors of the ministry's departments, as foreseen by the law, and that person holds the sixth position in each board. The seventh member is proposed by the ministry's general assembly of the Panhellenic Fedeartion of Culture & Sports Ministry Employees (POE-YPPO), as long as they hold a graduate degree and have a minimum of four years' experience in a responsible position."
The ministry added that the general managers were required to have a doctorate in archaeology, museology, history of art, or a science related to the purpose, nature, and operation of a museum. They also needed to have published recognized and authoritative scientific papers in Greece or abroad and to have a minimum of eight years' honorable organizational and managerial experience in a high-level position.
Each board will serve a 3-year term, the ministry noted.