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Historical and Folklore Museum of Aegina

laografiko_aeginas

The Historical and Folklore Museum of Aegina is housed in a neoclassical building at 16 Spyrou Rodi Str. It was built in 1828 by Georgios Iriotis or Kontogiorgis, father of Panagis Iriotis. Panagis Iriotis, who lived there with his family, bequeathed it to his daughter, Polymnia Irioti-Thomakou. She, in turn, gave it to the Municipality of Aegina in order that the island's Historical and Folklore Museum be created and established there. Her friend and historian, the late Gogo Koulikourdi, was of great help in this endeavour.

Panagis Iriotis, the donor's father, had studied Philology in Germany and held a doctorate from the University of Erglangen. Though he was qualified to become a university professor, he elected to settle and live on the island until his death in 1925. He taught and was the headmaster of the Hellenic School, or "Scholarcheio" middle school (this was housed in the Kapodistrian building where the Municipal Theatre is now located). Polymnia Irioti-Thomakou had also collected a number of historical documents and various items since 1940. Unfortunately, the house was looted after her death in 1980. Its condition was further worsened by the earthquakes of 1981, when the walls developed cracks and the roof fell in.

It took many years to repair the home. Efforts to restore it were spearheaded by the Friends of the Historical and Folklore Museum of Aegina, which was formed in 1989 to include Aegina residents as well as friends of the island.

A representation of the traditional "Aegina Home" has been set up on the upper storey. The museum also houses the Historical Museum archives, a large part of Panagis Iriotis' correspondence and library, which includes Greek and foreign books of great historical value, his doctoral thesis and many more materials of interest. Also on display are old furniture, paintings, traditional costumes, Aeginetan lace and other items belonging to the Iriotis family and other items donated by Aegina residents and the Friends of Aegina. Cassette tapes and recordings of Aegina's musical tradition, produced by musicologist Markos Dragoumis, are also on sale at the museum.

The ground floor houses two specially designed rooms representing the "Fisherman's House", with items used in fishing and sponge diving, and the "Village House", with agricultural tools from the past.

The main hall on the ground floor and the spacious courtyard are used as venues for art exhibits and cultural events and lectures.

Contact: 22970 26401

 

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