LACONIA INITIATIVE

The grantmaking activity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) extends all across Greece and around the world. But the Greek region of Laconia holds a special connection with SNF as the ancestral homeland of SNF’s Founder, Stavros Niarchos.

In this context, the Foundation supports—through encouragement, collaboration, and grants—a suite of initiatives to further strengthen the region. A centerpiece of these efforts is the new project for the revival of Vamvakou, a village on the western slopes of Mount Parnon that was the birthplace of SNF’s Founder but now has very few permanent residents.

Furthermore, following the visit of SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos and representatives of the Foundation to Laconia in early April 2019, SNF has embarked on a collaboration with the Holy Metropolis of Monemvasia and Sparta and its head, Metropolitan Efstathios, for the construction and outfitting of the School of Byzantine Music and Hagiography in the area.

At the same time, the SNF is holding discussions with the Ministry of Culture and Sports relating to a prospective new grant to support renovation works at the Archaeological Museum of Sparta and its outdoor spaces. The Archaeological Museum of Sparta is the first peripheral archaeological museum that was established in Greece and holds an outstanding collection of archaeological treasures. The renovation of its spaces is aimed to empower the role of the Museum as a cultural attraction in the center of the city. 

Already underway is a grant for the construction of a museum to showcase ancient mosaics uncovered in Sparta during the 20th century. With the collaboration of local and national institutions and former government Minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis, SNF hopes that the Museum of Mosaics will lead to further appreciation of the city’s archaeological wealth, in all its forms.

Lastly, as part of SNF’s initiative to support the health sector in Greece, implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Foundation is moving forward with a grant for the creation of a new Hospital in Sparta. Design of the hospital will be carried out by architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop.