European Leaders visit the SNFCC
10 September 2016

On the occasion of the Mediterranean EU countries’ Summit that took place in Athens, on Friday September 9th, the Heads of State of the EU countries of the South had the opportunity to visit the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) following the official proceedings held at Zappeion Megaron.

The visit was attended by the President of the French Republic Francois Hollande, and the Prime Ministers of Italy Matteo Rezni, Malta Joseph Muscat, Portugal Antonio Costa, Greece Alexis Tsipras, as well as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain as a representative of the caretaker Prime Minister. In addition, members of the Greek Government and the missions of the Heads of State, as well as local Embassies participated in the visit. The event was held at the Agora and the Lighthouse, where two photo exhibitions were organized –one referring to the everyday life of the respective participating countries and the other to the current refugee crisis.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Heads of State were welcomed by Mr. George Agouridis Member of the BoD, Ambassador Vassilis Kaskarelis Senior Advisor to the BoD, Mrs. Christina Lambropoulou Chief Financial Officer, and Mr. Dimitris Protopsaltou Chief Executive Officer of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

In addition, on Saturday September 10th, a Meeting of European Affairs Ministers, European Parliament officials and members of the Party of European Socialists (PES) took place at the Lighthouse of the SNFCC. The meeting was attended by Alternate MFA Nikos Xydakis, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir, Italian Under-Secretary for European Affairs Sandro Goci, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs Margarida Marques, Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ivan Korčok, Maltese Deputy PM & Minister of European Affairs Louis Grech and EP Vice-President Dimitris Papadimoulis. Nikos Pappas, Minister of State, also participated on behalf of the Greek government. PES was represented by the Vice-Chairs of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Maria João Rodrigues and Enrique Guerrero Salom and PES Deputy Secretary Yonnec Polet.

As a new landmark for Athens, but also for Europe as a whole, the SNFCC is a fresh, innovative and integrated project, which is open to all, meets the contemporary requirements and needs of citizens for education and culture, promotes open dialogue, while simultaneously confirming the significant potential for growth of the Greek society. The SNFCC is the largest single gift of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) ($854mil/€617mil). Designed by the internationally renowned architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the project was completed in August 2016, and the process of delivery to the Greek State, which will assume its full operation and management, has started. During this process, which is expected to be completed by the turn of the new year, the SNF supports the realization of public events on a daily basis in aim to make the project available to all.

The open events, which will continue throughout the delivery to the Greek State, offer the opportunity to the visitors to become acquainted with the project and its programmatic potential, aspiring to make the SNFCC a place-destination for all. The events are offered free of charge and are realized with the exclusive support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which currently holds the operation of the SNFCC. The events aim to highlight the potential of the project, to keep up and further encourage the open dialogue with the public, to offer the opportunity for multiple visits so that visitors may enjoy and discover the SNFCC anew, in hope that the strong relationships built during its first steps will accompany the project to its future development when it will begin its official operation under the Greek State.