President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Monday inaugurated the new library of the School of Fine Arts (ASKT) in Athens, at 256 Pireos Street. The library will be housed in a building designed by the architects Souzana and Dimitris Antonakaki and boasts of a collection of nearly 64,000 books, 412 periodicals and 600 engravings.
The project, which houses the oldest and most complete library on the arts in Greece, was built with European Community funding, while the planning and design of the facility and the cost of the move were financed with a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
In a speech at the opening of the new library, President Pavlopoulos highlighted that this was yet another SNF contribution to cultural life in Greece, following the construction of the SNF Cultural Centre in Faliro. He also noted that the opening of the new library coincided with the 180th anniversary since the foundation of the ‘School of Arts’ in 1837, from which the School of Fine Arts and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) eventually emerged.
“This is, without doubt, the most important library in Greece from the point of view of artistic content, which along with the National Library hides within itself real artistic treasures,” Pavlopoulos said.
The new library was built on the premises of the former Sikiaridis textile factory and, as the president said, “coexists in a creatively contrasting dialogue with its ‘melancholy’ remains.”
The School of Fine Arts presented the president with an honorary plaque containing three original postage stamps that the Hellenic Post will circulate on Monday to mark the School’s 180th anniversary, as well as an engraving by Greek artist Yiannis Moralis depicting the School’s facade.
The event was attended by Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou and SNF representative Vasilis Kaskarelis.