The theater of Ancient Messene opens again through a grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
02 August 2013

In order to promote Greece’s archaeological wealth and our cultural heritage, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation made a grant to support the restoration/reconstruction of the theater of Ancient Messene. In particular, the Foundation funded the relevant studies, as well as the execution of all restoration projects carried out by the Society of Messenian Archaeological Studies.

A special event consisting of a wealth of musical events will mark the opening of the restored Theater of the 3rd of August 2013, with the participation of the Ministry of Culture, the 38th Ephorate of Prehistorical and Classical Antiquities, the Hellenic Festival (Athens-Epidaurus), the Municipality of Messene, “DIAZOMA” Association, and the Society of Messenian Archaeological Studies. The restored ancient theater will now have the capacity to welcome an audience of 1,500 people, while the plethora of cultural events that will be held at the theater will contribute to the tourist regeneration of the wider area of Ancient Messene. 

Ever since its founding, by the Theban general Epaminondas, in 369 BC, ancient Messene has ranked among the most important ancients cities of Greece. It is an ancient settlement untouched by later ones, as it features, to this day, houses, imposing fortifications, temples and public buildings, as well as tombs. Its uniqueness is established by its extensive size as well as its monumental, in both size and form, buildings, and its Hippodamian system of urban planning. The Theater of Ancient Messene was built in the 4th century BC and still bears the characteristic features of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. 

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s grant for the restoration of the ancient theater of Messene helped flood an ancient settlement with light, and a cradle of civilization with people, while also breathing new life and providing opportunities for tourist development to the contemporary town of ancient Messene. On the 3rd of August 2013, the ancient theater will be reborn, and will welcome people once again, continuing its history. 

For more information about the grant, click here.