(Greece) – Niarchos, a foundation based in Greece, showcased their new park which houses a new opera house and national library in southern Athens about a week ago. According to the foundation, this new complex, which is designed to celebrate learning and the performing arts, is designed to give people hope amidst the country’s economic crisis. The opera house, which has 1400 seats, was designed by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect. The opera alone cost 600 million euro and took eight years to design and six years to build. The complex itself also houses a park and a library. The library has enough space to house 700,000 volumes.
According to Andreas Dracopoulos, the co-president of the Stavros Narchos Foundation, said that, “We thought it was very important to give hope.” The foundation funded the whole project and no money was used from public, state funds. The complex opened for four days last Thursday in order to celebrate its opening. However, it closed again in order to begin the process of transferring the buildings to the sate. Once the paperwork is filled out and everything goes through, the complex will belong to Greece. Dracopoulos also said that, “It should be governed by the state for the people…we know nothing about libraries or opera.”
Renzo Piano is an award winning architect who is also an honorary Italian senator. One of his most popular works, the Pompidou Center in Paris, has been hailed by people as being a building that brings to mind the poetry of the Mediterranean Sea. The center lets in plenty of sunlight and has a great view of the nearby sea. The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, which will likely be fully opened in 2017, is located on 50 acres of land near the coast in Faliro, in the southern part of Athens. However, people are concerned that the state won’t have the resources to keep the complex running full time. In response, Dracopoulos said, “The state should fulfill its obligation and run it properly. And the people should show that they respect it.”