Museum Type Special Interests
Address 12 El. Venizelou Ave.
Postal Code 106 71
Telephone210-3643774, 210-3612190, 210-3612519
The Numismatic Museum of Athens, with a history going back to 1829, is one of the few of its kind in the world and the only such museum in the Balkans. It provides continuous educational support for Hellenism in terms of numismatics, history and art history.
The strength of the collection lies in some six hundred thousand coins covering the ancient Greek world, the Roman and Byzantine periods, western Mediaeval times and modern times, "hoards" (closed numismatic groups), weights, lead stamps, medals and precious stones. About ten thousand volumes devoted to the special field of numismatics, to history, to seals and to archaeology, as well as offprints, fascicles, and general publications cover the archaeological material.
In addition there is an extraordinarily rich archive of documents. The Iliou Melathron (The Palace of Ilion), the house of Heinrich Schliemann, which houses the Numismatic Museum, is a work of the German architect Ernst Ziller in the style of buildings of the Italian Renaissance adapted to the neoclassical spirit of the late 19th century. The building was inaugurated on the 10th of January, 1881.
The walls inside are decorated with wall paintings copying Pompeian themes and the finds of Schliemann at Troy and Mycenae. With many activities, such as scientific and informative publications (in printed as well as electronical form), cycles of educational lectures, lectures, symposia, the organisation of periodic and occasional exhibitions, educational programmes, participation in international programmes, the Museum will become a centre of research and attraction for scholars and for the wider public. Conservation of metal objects belonging to the Museum and coins from the excavations of the Archaeological Ephorates is carried out in the fully equipped laboratory.
The exhibition of the objects, provided with electronical support, is organised to show various themes (history of the Museum, donors, life and work of Heinrich Schliemann, the architect of the Iliou Melathron, an introduction to numismatics, the mints of Athens and of Alexander the Great, Greek colonisation, numismatic "hoards", portrait heads, statues and coins, mythological representations, buildings, fauna, flora, etc.).
Planned also is the sale of publications, copies and so on, to be on the first floor and a cafe in the garden. In its endeavour to communicate to a broad spectrum of the public both the obvious, self-evident significance of numismatics and the less-apparent, concealed aspect of the art, which has attended human vanity throughout the ages, the Numismatic Museum of Athens, in collaboration with the Archaeological Receipts Fund, has published a series of elegant, concise guides for visitors to the exhibition in the Iliou Melathron, which illustrates the importance of coins, here arranged by subject, as a source of knowledge and delight.
November 1st, 2004 - March 31st, 2005