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Museum of Asia Minor Hellenism, a proposal by the Enosi Smyrneon

Sunday, 20 December 2009





The Association of the Enosi Smyrneans created a proposal to create the museum in refugee blocks of Alexandras avenue, and have had a positive response that prepared and initiated a systematic effort to the cause by citizens, and the acceptance by the competent bodies for its implementation.

The creation of the Greek Museum of Asia Minor and the East, is a request, not only to the Smyrneans of Asia Minor, but to many clubs, the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Refugees, etc. and the proposal and the desire of many known and unknown and not Asia Minor.

The implementation of the museum must become a reality, not only because the Enosi Smyrneans fight to save refugee residential development and proposed their use for housing the museum, but also because the decision of the Ministry published in the Government Gazette on 13 February 2009, clearly identified the reasons for designation as a monument toward the refugees: "... because they are buildings with particular social and historical significance and are closely associated with the rehabilitation and integration of Asia Minor refugees in the productive and social fabric of country". They are also a whole social housing buildings of the Modern Movement (from the few remaining) particularly important for studying the history of the architecture of inter-war period and the history of Athens.

As a Enosi Smyrneans quote our proposal and we support and active participation of all Asia Minor Associations and all actors of the refugee world and the support of each sensitized and fellow countryman.


The museum will highlight all the long history and culture, from antiquity to the present day, will highlight all areas, intellectual and physical, of the Greek East, the relationships and interactions with other peoples, but also genocide and modern odyssey of the new facility home.

The museum is much more than a display of relics. Is the living ring of history consistent with the happenings of modern society.

The museum gives all the information on Hellenism in the East in an organized, readable and attractive manner. Modern audiovisual used properly.

Three groups of units of the content of the museum:

1. Historical

2. Geographic

3. Thematic-Sectoral

1. Historical Topics

It presents historical sections in the course of Hellenism in the East since the Myths of Phrixus and Elli, the Argonaut Expedition and in all historical phases (Mycenaean period, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Modern).

2. Geographic Topics

Showing the distinct areas developed by the Greeks in the East, such as Asia Minor Hellenism, Hellenism in the Black Sea, etc.

3. Thematic-Sectoral Topics

These include areas where the Greeks of the East has been distinguished, such as Philosophy, Trade, Shipping, etc., and key historical moments of the beam eg Asia Minor Disaster.

The operation of the museum is not limited to report data and information. At the same time node processing concerns, ideas, production and dissemination of information relating to the topic dealt with means of interactive and relationship to contemporary society.

The classic function as a museum filled areas of activities that require specialized and other places outside the exhibition on its development.

Such activities are:

1. Documentation Department

Includes library, publishing, management and production of audiovisual material.

2. Department of Education and Training

It includes organizing seminars on specific issues, organizing lectures, special tours at the Museum, etc. Particular focus is given to the educational role of the museum which is in constant contact with schools, the curricula for the course of history which supports and guides.

3. Research Department

Aims to develop a systematic and constructive relations with other research bodies and institutions of the country or abroad.

4. Department of collaborations with other museums

Increasing contacts and partnerships with proportionate bodies and museums in Greece and abroad is respect of activities of the museum which will be given special weight.

Particular attention will be given to scientific, organizational and logistical support of dozens of similar collections, museum sites, etc. organized by municipalities, associations and other organizations.

5. Maintenance Department

It concerns the maintenance of relics exposed or kept in the museum or trust their owners at the Museum for preservation.


The region of Kountouriotou, which includes the band of refugee blocks, is the Master Plan of Athens (Law 1515/1986) institutionalized Regeneration Area.

An important part of the complex of apartment buildings, the four largest bloc of all the eight, will retain the existing residential use, to maintain the character of the neighborhood and also will house two important social functions: Guesthouse patients coming to hospital for short-Saint Sava hospitalization and abused women.

The Museum is limited to four of the eight blocks of apartment buildings, the number of Alexandras Avenue on the inside, between the St. Sava and the Supreme Court.

Overall, for the purposes of the Museum proposals to be made are:

1. The first four blocks of apartment buildings.

2. The former cinema "ARZENTINA" at the corner of Alexandra Avenue and the road Panathinaikos.

3. The old craft of building Kountouriotou Felt Street, next to schools.

4. The old stand between the blocks and Saint Sava.

5. The free public spaces between the proposed buildings.

Details for each site suggest:

1. Bands refugee blocks

Each of the four blocks of residential development consists of 4 or 5 contiguous blocks in series each of which has three levels: the ground floor or first level, first floor or second level and the second or third floor level. Each building has a separate staircase that each level serves two compartments 40-45 meters each.

In each of the four blocks will be internal operations to ensure the use of space for exhibits and other activities and adequate flow of visitors.

The first two levels of the four blocks will house the bulk of the exhibits and the media of the Museum. It will connect the buildings between each block at different levels to achieve a flow of visitors along each horizontal plane. They also provide covered walkway at ground level or underground, for the flow of visitors from one block to another.

The third level of the block, the second floor will house activities with less number of visitors, such as the library, seminar rooms, maintenance workshops, offices government Museum etc.

2. Movie theater "ARZENTINA.

The old movie theater "ARZENTINA" on the ground floor of the building at the corner of Alexandra Avenue and the road Panathinaikos. The movie theater does not work for many years. This is a major public gathering place, where appropriate design will be screenings, lectures and similar activities. Such activities are necessary implications of operating the museum. That is why we need the integration of this area of the museum.

3. Old craft of building Kountouriotou.

This craft building was part of refugee settlement "Kountourioti" which was built at the municipal building behind the Alexandra stadium. Women working in the building of the settlement. Following the relocation of refugees in apartments blocks, the buildings of the village were demolished, except that this craft building, located on Felt Road, next to schools, and is currently used as night clubs.

Has been asked to declare preserved for history and character. Inclusion in the Museum will help in launching and recovery.

The building will house temporary exhibitions of the museum.

4. Old stand

It is a small wooden building that was part of the complex refugee blocks of Alexandras Avenue. Is between them and the hospital St. Sava. Previously served as refreshment.

It will be a reception and information center for visitors to the museum. This will be available and tickets will be sold objects in the Museum (replicas, cards, books etc.)

5. Free public spaces between buildings.

The free public spaces between the blocks of apartment buildings are worthy and will be used for the outdoor installation of art exhibits and the museum. In the same way others would use free public spaces, especially spaces resulting from the demolition of the stadium. This enables the unity of the individual enclosures of the Museum.


Access to the Museum

The Museum is easily accessible by public transport. Only minutes away from the metro station "Ambelokipi" and is served by several bus and trolley.

Therefore, the need for car parking, workers or visitors, are limited. We note that has been constructed behind the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal huge multi-storey underground parking public use, it has not worked yet. This may serve the parking needs for the museum. If, however, found to be secure parking at the museum, they can be constructed underground between the groups of blocks in a way that the access road would not affect the access and movement of pedestrians and operation the Museum.

Two pedestrian subways under the Alexandras Avenue in front of the complex are the blocks and provide an easy and secure communication between sites of the museum. The functional and aesthetic improvement of the crossing would facilitate their use by people with disabilities.

Engineering Infrastructure

The operation of the museum requires the installation of electromechanical systems, air conditioning, electricity, fire fighting etc.

The central units of these will be installed in underground to be built in areas overdrafts. If this is not permissible, or parts of them will occupy parts of the flats.

For the convenient and safe movement of visitors and workers will construct lifts serving and the level of the basements, if constructed such sites.

The issues of technical infrastructure, and other technical issues will be addressed in the formulation of plans.

There are no insurmountable difficulties in securing the necessary technical infrastructure in the proposed building of the museum.


The implementation of the Museum, the phase of the necessary approvals, economic and technical studies, construction, repair of buildings and facilities and the development of public spaces to its operation, requires the involvement of many factors, seriousness and responsibility. The project is large and serious, but equally serious is the goal: The creation and performance in Greek society of the "Museum of Greek Asia Minor and the East."

The rooms will be used to publicly-owned (refugee blocks) and the City (public spaces and free craft building) and we think that will go towards the creation of the Museum. The old movie can be bought or expropriated. Problems may arise with ownership of the craft building, in one way or another will overcome.

The money the property of the Greek Asia Minor Communities, Community funding programs, sponsorships, etc. will be used for parallel implementation of the Museum.

The acquisition of exhibits and other materials that will be used in the library or otherwise, constitutes an immediate and high priority objective of the museum.

The material kept by various agencies such as the Byzantine Museum, the Numismatic Museum, the Archaeological Museum, etc., and materials that will give clubs, organizations and private individuals, will support the operation of the museum in all sectors. We are confident that the bids will exceed forecasts.

The imagination and the scientific knowledge of architects, museum curators, urban planners and scientists can transform that part of the refugee apartment buildings and other indoor & outdoor areas in an original and successful museum, living cell of the capital, highlighting the architectural and urban characteristics of the complex refugee blocks, self-public areas and enhance the area. And above all, the museum will fill a huge gap, an impossible debt of our society to its history.



Public support of the Museum by personalities with scientific, spiritual and social work have helped to bring the issues relating to Hellenism in the East is important in social acceptance and implementation of the launching.


Through the website will collect signatures in support of the Museum.


The Steering Committee is responsible for coordinating all activities aiming to support and detail the proposal for the Museum

It consists first of members of the Board Smyrnans the Union in the chair of each president.

To support the work of the Steering Committee created two work groups. The contribution of the members are genuine and voluntary.

1. Group visibility of the proposal

The group undertakes the promotional publicity of the proposal

Editorial Board undertaken by the consultant Mr Bistika Helen, a journalist.

2. Group processing of the proposal

Composed of scientists with the synergy amplify the proposal. For this purpose also collaborate with relevant agencies of government, investigate and deal with procedural, technical, and economic issues.

Editorial Board assume Mr. Phaedon Papatheodorou, engineer - urban planner planners.


In November organized by the Union Smyrnans press conference to promote the issue.

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