ILIAN LALOUNIS JEWELRY MUSEUM|
HAS OUTSTANDING COLLECTIONS
Articles on Greece by AURELIA
A select group of visitors to Athens can now view the Temple of Parthenon while dining by candlelight on the lovely roof terrace atop the splendid and relatively new Ilias Lalounis Jewelry Museum. The museum, which contains an outstanding collection of some of the finest jewelry in the world, is situated at the foot of the Acropolis on its south side, under the Theatre of Dionysos.
The select visitors are 'Friends of the Ilias LaLaounis Jewelry Museum,' who support this private, non-profit organization with a tax-deductible contribution. Membership entitles the 'Friends' to unlimited entry to the Museum with one guest, discounts on purchases, free admission to viewings and educational programs, plus other benefits, including admission to the roof terrace for a sumptuous candlelight dinner or a simple cup of strong, Greek coffee.
In addition, 'Friends' have the satisfaction of supporting one of the finest museums of its kind in the world. In 1996, the architecturally stunning building, which complements the graceful lines of the Parthenon, was a candidate for 'The Best European Museum of the Year.'
Opened to the public in December of 1994, the Museum's permanent collection houses over 3,000 designs created in jewelry and objects d'art by the founder, Ilias Lalaounis, an academician and member of the Academy des Beaux Arts. More than 8,000 additional designs created by the founder will be exhibited in retrospective exhibitions.
There are forty-five collections of display jewelry and micro sculpture in six theme galleries. Among the exhibits are collections such as 'the Dawn of Art,' 'The History of Greek Jewelry,' and 'The Art and Architecture of 12 Civilizations.'
An unusual feature is a prototype jewelry workshop where visitors will see goldsmiths working on ancient and modern jewelry techniques. The workshop is equipped with benches for children and adults so they can sit and work during special educational programs. They use original tools used by the goldsmiths in the I. Lalaounis workshop for over a century.
Over 2,000 books on jewelry, general art history, and archaeology can be found in the library, a separate building adjacent to the museum's exhibition spaces. There are numerous educational programs for children and adults, and varied lectures and workshops throughout the year.
Among the jewelry presented by Sotheby's, New York, when the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was auctioned recently were twenty-five Ilias Lalaounis designs, gifts from Aristotelis Onassis to his wife. Among these designs was a pair of gold earrings specially commissioned by Mr. Onassis.
The Museum is the first building of its kind in Greece to be designed so that it is accessible to the handicapped.
Click here for more information on the Museum or on becoming a 'Friend of the Museum'.
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