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Contemporary Art and Culture

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The Greek capital is so packed with attractions from antiquity that it’s easy to forget the here and now. But contemporary culture, especially in the visual arts, is booming more than ever despite (or in some way because of) the ongoing financial crisis. A scad of new cultural venues has cropped up in the past decade, many of them built by Greek patrons and all worth exploring.
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Iasonos 45, Athina 104 36, Greece
The Breeder Gallery's top-floor "Breeder Feeder" is mostly defunct these days. The upper story of the gallery now hosts shorter art residencies and features fun shows or interactive "happenings" by the gallery's younger artists, like Zoë...
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Λεωφ. Καλλιρρόης και Αμβρ. Φραντζή, Αθήνα, 117 43, Athina 117 43, Greece
The EMST (National Museum of Contemporary Art) has existed since 2000 and often mounted edgy exhibitions in the Athens Conservatory across town. The plan for its new home got a green light, but construction was scheduled...
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Filellinon 11, Nea Ionia 142 34, Greece
Art megacollector Dakis Joannou’s DESTE Foundation has been around for 35 years—first hosting blockbuster exhibitions, often curated by his friend American art dealer Jeffrey Deitsch, in venues around...
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Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea 176 74, Greece
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)—new home for both the National Library and National Opera, designed by Renzo Piano and financed to the tune of €630 million—is a wonder to look at, walk through, and relax...
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Athens 117 45, Greece
What the Brooklyn Academy of Music is to New Yorkers or the Barbican is to Londoners, the Onassis Cultural Center is to the Greek capital. The stunning building with a slatted facade opened in 2010—it covers an entire city block and in...
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Athens, Greece
NEON, which started in 2013, has an unusual concept—a Greek art patron, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, mounts large-scale, site-specific exhibitions without procuring a permanent space. The roaming art projects have been exhibited in some of the...
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Leonidou 9, Athina 104 37, Greece
Art woman about town Rebecca Camhi has been in the city since 1995, but hers was one of first galleries to settle into Athens' now trendy, and still somewhat sketchy, Metaxourgeio neighborhood. Expect to see beautifully curated and...
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Koumpari 1, Athina 106 74, Greece
An extraordinary repository of Greek culture through the ages, this eclectic museum has something for everyone: Bronze Age jewelry, Byzantine icons, traditional folk costumes, Lord Byron's pistols, Cavafy’s poems, and 20th-century paintings....
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Athens 118 54, Greece
In the late 1990s, Athens revived this nineteenth-century industrial gasworks district and transformed it into a cultural center whose multiple buildings still buzz with energy. This is where the Athens Jazz Festival takes place each spring, but...