The Greek capital was praised for maintaining a thriving cultural scene amidst the socioeconomic crisis as well as its support for culture and tourism. In bestowing Athens with the award Emerging Cultural City, the selection committee highlighted among others the inauguration and programming of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Culture Center.
Τhe SNFCC is the SNF’s largest single gift. The project’s total cost exceeded $860 million. The SNFCC was designed by the renowned architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and includes the new facilities of the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park. The Foundation delivered the SNFCC to Greek Society on February 23, 2017. Following the handover, the SNF announced its commitment to continue supporting the SNFCC for five years, through grants of $53 million that support the implementation of public programming and help cover a portion of SNFCC’s operational costs. All events funded with the SNF’s support are free to the public.