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Cancellation of the SNF grant to the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports to protect and display Faliron Bay archaeological findings

May 20, 2022
After five years of continuous delays and inaction on the part of the relevant authorities, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) was forced to withdraw the grant to support the design, construction, and outfitting of the Kelyfos Polyandriou exhibition pavilion.

The grant sought to help protect and showcase the archaeological findings in the area of Faliron Bay which came to light during excavation for the construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). These include, among others, the internationally heralded discovery of an ancient mass grave known as “Desmotes Falirou.”

SNF’s intention to fund the project was expressed in February 2017 through a letter to the Ministry. The SNF grant, totaling up to €4,050,000, would have included the creation of a new building with museum infrastructure based on a design by celebrated architect Renzo Piano and his associates.

From the beginning of the discussions between SNF and the Ministry, progress on the project was characterized by constant and systematic delays. Recognizing the special difficulty involved in realizing the project and at the request of the Ministry, SNF made amendments to the original grant contract and extended the implementation timeline multiple times. Recently, and despite regular communication between SNF and the Ministry, we have not received any substantial information regarding the method or timetable implementation of the grant will follow. These conditions led to a decision by the SNF Board of Directors to withdraw and cancel the grant, effective immediately.

As an international philanthropic organization, we will continue to support every effort that contributes to the promotion of Greece’s cultural heritage, as well as every effort that has a positive impact on society in general, to the full extent of our abilities. If this project’s development reaches maturity in the future, we will be at the Ministry’s disposal to evaluate a new grant request with every good intention.