It was established in 1930 by Antonis Benakis and it mainly comprises Greek collections of the Postbyzantine period The top priority for the Benaki Museum is the recreation of the historic-cultural continuity of Hellenism in the full evolution of space and time. The rich library, the historic and photographic archives, the restoration laboratories for icons and ceramics as well as the Museum’s collections are available to scholars, while educational programs are organized for pupils and students. A new wing is going to be added soon to the existing building for the better promotion of the Museum’s numerous exhibits and thus the historic-cultural continuity of Hellenism will be thoroughly shown and taught. A number of other collections and the activities related to them will become autonomous in a series of new annexes.
The latest aquisition of the Benaki Museum is the oeuvre of the great contemporary Greek painter Nicos Hatzikyriakos-Ghika, known simply as Ghikas, who donated his collection of works to the Museum together with the estate on 3 Kriezotou Str. in downtown Athens, where his home and studio are housed and where an art gallery with his paintings has already opened.