Opening of the exhibition ”Byzantium: 330-1453” at the Royal Academy of Arts
16 OCTOBER 2008

The exhibition is proudly supported by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The A. G. Leventis Foundation, the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation are very proud to support the exhibition “Byzantium 330-1453”, to be held in the Main Galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, from 25 October 2008 to 22 March 2009. 


 The exhibition, a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Benaki Museum in Athens, brings together more than 300 artifacts, including great works from Greek museums, ecclesiastical collections, such as the San Marco Treasury in Venice, as well as rare items from collections across Europe, the USA, Russia, Ukraine and Egypt. Some of these works have never been displayed in public before.  


 The exhibition is one of the very few ever mounted which captures the complete spectrum of the Byzantine Empire, beginning from its foundation in Constantinople in 330 AD by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, up until the capture of the city by the Ottoman forces of Mehmed II in 1453. It is also the first major exhibition on Byzantine Art held in the UK for more than half a century.  


The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation, the A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation promote Greek culture in all its aspects and focus on events which demonstrate its timeless character. Moreover, the three foundations place great emphasis on promoting arts as a means of facilitating cultural dialogue. Within this framework, they express their active support of collaborative projects between acclaimed institutions in Greece and abroad. The most recent example of such collaboration was the exhibition on Byzantine Art, undertaken in order to enhance the understanding of its extensive influence and contribution to world art that was hosted at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in 2003.  


The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation, a non-profit benevolent institution, was founded in 1979 on the occasion of the centenary of Credit Bank (now Alpha Bank) by its then Chairman, the late Spyros Costopoulos and his wife Eurydice, in memory of the Bank’s founder John F. Costopoulos. 


The activities of the Foundation centre on public interest projects and the support of initiatives in the fields of education, research and the arts. In this way it fulfils its constitutional mission of promoting and disseminating Greek culture both in Greece and abroad. 


Specifically, it supports activities relating to the preservation and the promotion of ancient Greek, Byzantine and contemporary civilisation.

In this context and over a number of years the Foundation has supported archaeological excavations and the restoration of archaeological sites and Byzantine churches. As part of its aim to promote knowledge, the Foundation supports libraries as well as publications of limited commercial interest such as original thematic essays, self-contained monographs and the minutes from scientific symposia. 


In addition to its support to individual doctoral and post-doctoral research projects, the Foundation provides help to postgraduate programmes of academic institutions and to faculties of Greek studies in foreign universities. It is also worth noting the Foundation’s contribution to seminars and conferences. 


The Foundation also provides aid to museums for maintaining and augmenting their collections, organising exhibitions and implementing various educational programmes, seminars and other events. A constant aim is to support established and experimental groups in the realms of theatre, music and dance as well as documentaries and short films, and also to ensure the promotion of contemporary creations in the visual arts. 


Moreover, the Foundation’s active presence in the area of art, particularly modern and contemporary art, is underscored by the production and co-production of major art exhibitions in Greece and abroad.

Finally, the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation works closely with other major institutions to promote activities of mutual interest or implement joint projects which fall within the scope of its mission. 


The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation

Ploutarchou 9, GR-106 75 Athens,  


Contact: Ms. Meni Strongyli, tel. 210 7293507,  


The A.G. Leventis Foundation was established in 1979, to fulfil the wishes of the late Anastasios Leventis. Following his directions, the Foundation’s activities were based on three principles: culture, education, philanthropy; a fourth was later added to these, the environment.  


In Cyprus, Greece and wider South-Eastern Europe, the Foundation’s main emphasis has been on the restoration of a number of monuments of various periods and on support for education and culture. Elsewhere in Europe, and further afield, there has again been a concentration on education with a particular focus on the communities of the Greek diaspora. An international programme of support for Greek studies has been developed over the years in parallel with efforts to study and enhance the presentation of Cypriot antiquities in museums around the world.  


The Foundation has active international programmes on environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture, with emphasis on developing countries. 


Information regarding the grant:  


Georgina Dimopoulou 


tel: 00442089976651