Benaki Museum to auction online art works, raise funds for its survival

November 26, 2020

The Benaki Museum in Athens is fighting for its survival due to the imposed closure s part of the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic in Greece had led to a monthly loss of revenue totaling about 400,000 euros. To respond to the crisis, The Benaki Museum Fundraising & Development Department organizes an online auction of works of art and objects from Monday 30 November until Monday 7 December,2020.

All the works of the online auction, have been donated by artists that have previously exhibited their work at the Museum or have collaborated with the Benaki Shop, as well as by friends and supporters of the Museum.

The state contributes to the museum budget by 20% -25%, which can reach 30% with some emergency grants. The rest, however, comes from the activity of the museum – its shop, the sale of tickets, sponsorship activities – which, due to the pandemic, have suffered a massive decline.

As a result, the museum’s financial reform program has been derailed and one third of its employees have had their employment contracts suspended.

To respond to the crisis, the museum’s annual fundraising campaign will not aim to support a specific action but the operation of the museum itself.

Museums managers told media that they categorically rejected the auction of exhibits from the museum collection, as foreign museums did to raise funds, but has accepted the idea of an auction.

More than 150 artists responded to the museum’s invitation to submit their work, thus managing to gather more than 260 items, such as paintings, sculptures and photographs.

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The items cover a wide range of prices, from 50 to 50,000 euros, so that the the general public can participate in the auction.

More information on the auction and the catalogue of the items to be auctioned is available for preview on the website of the Benaki Museum Nov 26-30 here.

The special platform for the auction will be activated at 10 pm, Monday, November 30 and will accept offers until 9 pm, Monday, December 7, 2020.

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