A former tobacco factory in Athens will become a new cultural space

Words by Alessandra Bellomo
January 28, 2021

A former Public Tobacco Factory in Athens, now under the authority of the Hellenic Parliament, is undergoing major works of renovation to turn it into a contemporary, cultural and social centre, open to all, offering a dynamic space for meeting and exchanging ideas. The Lenorman Street Tobacco Factory was the second Public Tobacco Factory in Athens: finished in 1930, the factory is a protected monument by the Ministry of Culture since 1989.

The initiative was taken by the Hellenic Parliament together with NEON, the no-profit organisation founded by Dimitris Daskalopoulos, who is also funding the space’s renovation. Together, the two bodies will also implement an entire Cultural Programme for 2021 dedicated to contemporary art, which will take place at the tobacco factory from June to December 2021.

The collaboration between the parliament and NEON is part of the events taking place in 2021 to celebrate an important anniversary in Greek history: the 200th one from Greece’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1821. The programme also responds to the striking effects of the pandemic on society, to demonstrate at a national and international level the potential of contemporary art in facing today’s challenges.

The programme will open with the exhibition “Portals”, organised by NEON, curated by Elina Kountouri, Director of NEON, and Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Forty artists from Greece and beyond will reflect through their works on the effects of revolutionary events on society.

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