Greek Billionaire Dimitris Daskalopoulos To Change Athens Tobacco Factory Into A Cultural Centre

Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the founder Neon. Credit rating: @diaronique photo by Trevor Leighton

Planet-renowned Greek art foundation Neon, established by billionaire financier and art collector Dimitris Daskalopoulos, will change Athens’ historic Lenorman Road Tobacco Manufacturing facility into a location for a contemporary art exhibition identified as ‘Portals’ subsequent 12 months.

Developed between 1927 and 1930, and built by civic architects Pavlos Athanasakis and Antonis Ligdopoulos, the Lenorman Road Tobacco Factory was declared a historic monument by the Greek Ministry of Lifestyle in 1989.

Renovations on the residence started in 2000, but attempts were being slowed by the Greek financial disaster of 2009.

Comprising a town block, half of the setting up is at present residence to the library of the Hellenic Parliament.

The Neon funded conversion of the remaining fifty percent of the premises into a cultural location will expense €1 million ($1.2 million) in renovations.

The exhibition and conversion of the room will coincide with the bicentennial celebration of Greece’s War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 that led to the foundation of the modern-day Greek condition.

The Lenorman Street Tobacco Factory
The Lenorman Avenue Tobacco Manufacturing unit, Athens. Photograph ©Efi Syrigou, courtesy of the Hellenic Parliament and Neon

Dimitris Daskalopoulos. The Greek billionaire at the rear of the €1 million conversion of the Tobacco Manufacturing facility into a society venue.

Dimitris Daskalopoulos set up the non-gain modern Greek art foundation Neon in 2013 with the goal of bringing art to the community via offering significantly-desired help to the contemporary art scene in Greece.

Daskalopoulos is an entrepreneur who made his fortune in the Greek food items field. Born in 1957, he was the principal proprietor, Chairman and CEO of Delta Holdings/Vivartia SA, Greece’s biggest foods conglomerate from 1983 to 2007.

Founder and Chairman of DAMMA Holdings SA, a monetary companies and financial commitment corporation, Daskalopoulos served as the Chairman of the Board of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) for the eight consecutive yrs concerning 2006 to 2014. He is SEV’s Honorary President.

From 2013 to 2015 he served as BusinessEurope’s Vice President and he is the founder and Chairman of diaNEOsis (2015), a research imagine tank in Greece, which commissions experiments and will make plan proposals on the important social and financial issues in Greece.

Daskalopoulos is a trustee of the Guggenheim Basis as properly as chairman of its collections council, a member of the Tate Intercontinental Council and the New Museum’s management council.

Daskalopoulos developed an early aesthetic curiosity at the age of just 12 when he started to go to museums.

He purchased his initial perform of artwork whilst travelling via Thailand with his mom and dad at the age of 17 – a statue that he carried with him under his arm for a 7 days as it didn’t match in his suitcase.

Before prolonged he created a “collecting vocation” which  became “a way of channelling  his personal creativity”, as he informed B Past magazine in a 2018 interview.

Daskalopoulos’s ensuing collection has been the basis for exhibitions at the Guggenheim, Bilbao, the Whitechapel, and the Scottish Countrywide Gallery of Present day Artwork.

Athens-primarily based Daskalopoulos says that he hardly lives with any of the practically 500 performs he has gathered above the past twenty years.

“Most of the assortment is substantial installations and sculpture. I’d have to go out to set even a pair of them in my property,’ he advised in 2014.

Dimitris Daskalopoulos
Dimitris Daskalopoulos Credit history: @bbeyondmagazine

Neon. The not-for-financial gain present-day artwork foundation bringing art nearer to the men and women of Greece.

Since its inception, Νeon has been realizing the aspirations of its founder to carry modern day artwork closer to the general public, collaborating with cultural establishments to make use of venues that generally stay untapped.

“Νeon’s mission is to emphasize these venues of historic worth, and convey them to the forefront of cultural activity in an work to improve the citizens’ day to day experience by way of encounters with modern artwork inside of the town,” suggests Daskalopoulos.

Neon concluded a single such transformation on behalf of the governing administration at the Athens Conservatory in 2016.

The renovation reworked a basement, which had been abandoned for forty yrs, into an exhibition room.

Neon funded the €180,000 refurbishment right after which the house remained underneath the cultural programming of the Athens Conservatory, a new music and drama college.

“Νeon, in holding with its theory that ‘our room is the city’, revives one much more unknown place of Athens,” Daskalopoulos in a statement issued at the time.

“When I first observed this abandoned location, so whole of prospective, I thought of it my obligation to undertake its restoration. It is a wonderful joy for me that our refurbishment application has resulted in a new cultural location which we are now handing above to the public of Athens,” he claimed.

“I hope that at this adverse juncture, the beautiful venue will be a beneficial contribution to the Conservatoire’s ambitious method of cultural activities.”

Νeon has organised community exhibitions and modern art events in Athenian landmarks such as the Gennadius Library and the French University at Athens, and in archaeological sites together with the Historic Agora, the Roman Agora and Kerameikos Cemetry.

The art basis also staged a community display of sculptor Sir Antony Gormley’s get the job done amidst the historical Greek ruins on the island of Delos previous yr.

‘Portals’. The inaugural exhibition of the Tobacco Manufacturing unit.

When renovations of the Lenorman Road Tobacco Manufacturing facility are complete, the debut exhibition ‘Portals’ will feature do the job by above 40 of some of the world’s most distinguished contemporary artists from Greece and abroad, including Michael Rackowitz, Danh Vo, and Glenn Ligon, from June to December, 2021.

‘Portals’ will be curated by Madeleine Grynsztejn, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Neon director Elina Kountouri and will be demonstrating from June to December 2021.

Daskalopoulos Tassoulas Kountouri Kafantaris
Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the founder Neon Constantine A. Tassoulas, president of the Hellenic Parliament Elina Kountouri, director of NEON and Fanis Kafantaris, from Neon’s exhibition style and design office, inside of the Lenorman Road Tobacco Manufacturing facility, Athens. Photograph ©Efi Syrigou, courtesy of the Hellenic Parliament and Neon.

The location “is impressive for its deep financial, political, intellectual, and historic roots,” states Grynsztejn in a assertion.

“Contemporary artwork thrives in a context so profoundly resonant it marries the previous to the current whilst reconciling our prevailing paradoxes and pointing to the future.”

The exhibition hopes to replicate the success of a demonstrate staged by the Greek state at La Boétie artwork gallery in Paris in 1919, throughout the peace conference held next the summary of Planet War I.

“Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos inaugurated an exhibition of 200 paintings and sculptures by the ‘Omáda Téchni’ (Artwork Team), an association of younger Greek artists of the time who ended up joined to the avant-garde and Modernism,” explained Hellenic Parliament president, Constantine A. Tassoulas.

Like the historic demonstrate at La Boétie art gallery, ‘Portals’ aims “to emphasize how Greece, its record and its prospects encourage the contemporary, domestic, and worldwide avant-garde.”

After the exhibition ends, Neon will very generously reward the venue again to the Greek point out for future use as a lasting cultural centre.

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Antonis Ligdopoulos, Athens Conservatory, Constantine A. Tassoulas, Danh Vo, Daskalopoulos, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Elina Kountouri, Glenn Ligon, Hellenic Parliament, Hellenic Parliament library, La Boétie, Lenorman Avenue Tobacco Manufacturing unit, Madeleine Grynsztejn, Michael Rackowitz, Pavlos Athanasakis, Portals, Sir Antony Gormley

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