© Elculture.gr

August 24, 2016

The house of Patrick Leigh Fermor
A new cultural center for the intellectuals

Translated from Elculture.gr

The house of Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor in Kardamyli will be fully renovated as it aims to become a cultural space hosting international celebrities and an educational center of international scope. As a cultural space, the house of Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor will be hosting important personalities of literature and the arts and as an educational center it is aimed to cooperate with educational institutions in Greece and abroad. This unique property is to be maintained, repaired and equipped thanks to a new donation just adopted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Benaki Museum. The property occupies a land area of 9 acres located in Kalamitsi area, Kardamyli. Undoubtely, this is one of the finest properties in Greece. Direct contact with the sea-a narrow stone staircase leads to a small pebble beach just below the house, stone buildings and the Mediterranean garden descending to the water, form an ideal environment for concentration and creation. “In short, the hospitality in this area is a great gift that can be offered by Greece in important intellectuals,” as stated in the notice.

“The unique location of House Patrick Leigh Fermor, the special architecture of the house, and the splendor given from the writer’s personality guarantee the creation of a separate center that will win a distinguished place among the many cultural centers centers of Europe and America” note the Benaki Museum and the Niarchos Foundation.”

More specifically, the operation of the Centre Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor will provide: hospitality for new writers and scholars to study and compose their work, organization of educational activities in collaboration with Universities in Greece and abroad, honorary hospitality for important personalities from the field of literature, arts and sciences, organization of educational and cultural events for the general public and residents of Kardamyli, scheduled tours on the property, with emphasis on donors, history of the house and its use by the Benaki Museum, and short hospitality for benefactors and major supporters of the Benaki Museum. By decision of the Administrative Commission of the Benaki Museum, an international panel of an advisory committee, which will shape and propose a program of operations and options will operate at the center.

The donation of Patrick Leigh Fermor and his wife Joan

Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor lived for many years in Mani, Kardamili, in the house designed by the architect Nikos Hatzimichalis. In 1996, they donated to the Benaki Museum their home in Kardamili, on the condition that the owner of the house will be transferred to the Museum after their death. This option was proposed by his close friend, Tzannis Tzannetakis, and the donation was unconditionally accepted by the Benaki Museum, given the friendly relationship of Fermor with the founder Antonis Benakis and his daughter Irene Kalliga. According to the Grant Contract, the property must be used for the success of the Benaki Museum project, based on the Administrative Committee. It can also be used for hosting researchers who seek a quiet and welcoming place to work and provides for the possibility of renting the property for three months every year in order to secure the costs of its operation. The museum because of his personality and his donor status, extended some guests categories to include writers, poets, artists, etc. The Benaki Museum has acquired full ownership of the property after the donor’s death, in the autumn of 2011.

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