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During your lovely stay in Crete don't miss to visit one of the few literature museums in Greece which is exclusively dedicated to the life and work of great Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
- 1-4 Hours
- History & Culture
- Cretan Villages
Situated in the historical village of Myrtia or Varvaroi, just 15km from Heraklion town, the recently renovated Museum of Nikos Kazantzakis impresses with its sophisticated structure and aesthetics.
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum pays tribute to the important intellectual, author, thinker, philosopher, politician and traveler Nikos Kazantzakis.
The Museum is made up of a cluster of buildings in the central square of the historical village of Varvari, now known as Myrtia.
The Museum Exhibition is housed on a site formerly occupied by the home of the Anemoyiannis family, which was related to Nikos Kazantzakis' father, Kapetan Michalis.
The Museum was founded by set and costume designer Yiorgos Anemoyiannis, a pioneering figure in Greek theatre.
His fundamental aim was to preserve the author's memory and promote his work and thought. Significant assistance was offered by Eleni Kazantzaki, the author's second wife.
The Museum holds manuscripts and notes by the author; samples of his correspondence with major thinkers, politicians, and authors of his time; first editions of his works in Greek and other languages; rare photographic material; souvenirs from his travels; personal effects; models, costumes and other material from theatre productions of his works in Greece and abroad; portraits and sculptures of the author; dozens of foreign-language editions of his works from all over the world, all a legacy that brings alive the memory of Nikos Kazatzakis and promotes his work and personality.
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum has quite literally become a site of worldwide intellectual pilgrimage. Every day, visitors arrive from all four corners of the globe, bearing witness to the lasting relevancy of the word expressed by the great Cretan, universal author and thinker.
The epitaph on his grave in Heraklion consists of his own words: "I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"
The visit starts with a 20-minute documentary screening (available in seven languages –just ask the person at the counter) on the life and work of Nikos Kazantzakis. Your experience will be enriched with interactive audiovisual displays, including scenes from films that were based on Kazantzakis books (‘Τhe Last Τemptation’ and ‘Christ recrucified’).
At the end of the visit, remember to take a look into the souvenir shop where you will also find the books of Nikos Kazantzakis in various languages.
It is worth buying even something little, just to support this important self-funded Museum.
You can also buy stuff online through the Museum’s website, which also provides interesting and updated information about the Museum and the writer.
Good to know
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum Foundation is a non-profit private entity supervised by the Ministry of Finance and the Decentralized Administration of Crete. Ιts charter gained state legal status under Government Presidential Decree of 2nd March 1984.
The Nikos Kazantzakis is open to any offers of volunteer work serving its specific needs, such as digitization of documents, electronic cataloging, and documentation, welcoming and guiding visitors and special categories of visitors, guarding rooms, leading educational programs etc.
Donations were not sufficient either, so in 2011 the association “Friends of the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum” was founded, having as its main goal the economic survival of the Museum and its promotion in Greece and abroad. You can also become a “friend” of the Museum.
Yiorgos Anemoyannis was born in Heraklion, Crete on the 15th of December 1916. He was a pioneer set designer and, during his 60-year long career in the art sector, he worked with the most prominent figures of Greek theatre in all genres: comedy, prose, variety show, boulevard, tragedy, opera.
One of his biggest accomplishments was the foundation of the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum.
He was the one who conceived, envisaged, and created this unique museum in memory of Nikos Kazantzakis. Until the end of his life, he worked tirelessly, with the support of Kazantzakis’ second wife, Eleni, to collect the manuscripts, publications, and personal items that form the Museum’s exhibition material. Even if he had never had relevant studies, he organized and classified the great volume of material that currently makes up the Museum’s exhibits like an experienced museologist. He was a keen supporter of Kazantzakis’ work and philosophy, as well as one of the founding members and avid supporters of the International Association of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis.
Yiorgos Anemoyannis died in Athens on the 19th of October 2005.
More information about the Museum’s founder is available on: www.anemoyannis.gr
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