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Museum of Modern Art, Lazariston Monastery

The Museum of Modern Art is hosted in spaces of the former Lazariston Monastery.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )

    1980 Listed as a historical monument.

    1987 Expropriated by the Ministry of Culture.

    1997 Renovated and hosted the technologically-advanced Museum of Modern Art.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1912)

    1886 Constructed.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The Museum of Modern Art is hosted in spaces of special architectural value, in the former Lazariston Monastery. The buildings of the seminary and the boarding school have a Central European style with turret-like ends. Nowadays, these premises have been turned into a museum, that houses the Kostakis collection with works of Russian modernism (1910-1930, Russian avant-garde, constructivism). The collection is among the most important and representative of its kind in the world. It consists of 1,275 works of sculpture, painting, design and construction. It includes works by Tatin, Kandinsky, Lissitzky, Popova, Vialov, Rodchenko, Edner, Previn, Rozanova, Kliun and many others, as well as donations made by Greek artists (Yannakou, Avramidis, Xenakis, and others). The outdoor area has many sculptures. A metal work by Steven Antonakos called “The Chapel of celestial scale” is particularly impressive. Internally, there is a hi-tech theatre with 657 seats and a smaller one with 200 seats. Generally speaking, the modern architectural intervention in the buildings and the surrounding space is particularly successful, despite the deviations of the final project from the original design.

What I can't see

The monastery covers a total area of 20,000 square metres (the museum is 3,270 square metres) and is one of the few historical monuments of Western Thessaloniki. Although it was built by the St. Vincent de Paul brotherhood, the name of the monastery comes from Saint Lazare Street in Paris, where the order’s headquarters were based. The objective of the monastery was the caring of poor students, the conversion of Slavs and the education of Catholic clergy. After the seminary closed, the building was used as an agricultural school, as Entente’s headquarters, a transit centre for Catholic refugees and as a residence and commercial property. As a museum, it has a unique collection, attracting international interest, especially from universities, thus making Thessaloniki a centre for academic studies of 20th century artistic movements. Moreover, Biennale events are hosted here, activities of the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki, an open-air cinema and concerts during the summer months.



Zafeiris Ch., (1997), Θεσσαλονίκης Εγκόλπιον, ιστορία, πολιτισμός, η πόλη σήμερα, γεύσεις, μουσεία, μνημεία, διαδρομές, [Thessaloniki Handbook, history, culture, the city today, flavours, museums, routes], Athens: Exantas

Ζafeiris Ch., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η παρουσία των απόντων, ηκληρονομιά Ρωμαίων, Μουσουλμάνων, Εβραίων, Ντονμέδων, Φράγκων, Αρμενίων και Σλάβων, [Thessaloniki, the presense of the absent, the heritage of Romans, Muslims, Jews, Doenme, Franks, Armenians and Slavs], Thessaloniki: Epikentro

State Museum of Contemporary Art, (2007), Το Μουσείο, [The Museum]

Last visit 17/8/2014

Kolonas V., (2012), Η αρχιτεκτονική μιας εκατονταετίας: Θεσσαλονίκη 1912-2012, [The architecture of a century: Thessaloniki 1912-2012] University Studio Press

Tsaktsira L, Papanthimou K., Mantziou G., Kalogirou N., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η πόλη και τα μνημεία της, [Thessaloniki, the city and its monuments], Thessaloniki: Malliaris Pedia

Filippidis D., (2006), Αρχιτεκτονικές Μεταμορφώσεις, Ι. μητροπολιτικά κέντρα, [Architectural Transformations, I. metropolitan centres], Melissa