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We mourn the loss of Greek National Gallery Director Marina Lambraki-Plaka

Jun 14, 2022
All of us at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) express our profound sadness to hear of the passing of Marina Lambraki-Plaka, a dear friend of SNF, as well as our deepest condolences to her family and friends. Her unrelenting commitment and decade-spanning vision helped realize a long-simmering dream and usher in a new era in public access to Greek art.

Marina was Director of the National Gallery in Athens for an incredible 30 years, guiding it as it acquired thousands of new works, expanded to new branch locations, and completed its stunning new home in Central Athens, a project SNF was proud to collaborate in and support. Driving all of this was a desire to bring art representing Greece’s rich history and vibrant artistic present closer to people—and thereby people closer to art.

The impulse behind this institutional transformation was to make inspiring, illuminating, and thought-provoking works of art more accessible to the public—both physically and conceptually. Marina’s passion for helping people appreciate and understand the works displayed at the National Gallery is apparent in the virtual tour she recorded to celebrate the opening of the Greek National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum in 2021.

We have had the pleasure of collaborating with Marina for more than 20 years, and we will miss her deeply, as will all who knew her. But we are certain that the legacy of her lifetime’s work as an educator and the National Gallery’s greatest champion will continue to delight and enlighten for generations to come.

To give a sense of her unbridled passion, her faith in her vision, and the exceptionally warm relationship she and the Foundation enjoyed, we share here three letters from Marina Lambraki-Plaka to SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.