As Greece nears brink, work starts soon on new opera house

We have been sent a press release, slightly delayed, announcing that work will commence as scheduled in the coming weeks on the $790 million Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in Athens, which will include a new national opera and national library. The Foundation has committed an extra $130 million to help alleviate the effects of the economic crisis in Greece. But I wonder whether going ahead with an ostentatious cultural project is altogether in the country’s best interest, internal or external, at the moment.

Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center

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  • Having a fantastic building always helps, but does anyone know whether the cash rich Niarhos Foundation will also contribute to the opera hose’s operation? The Greek National Opera has had a long history of public funding shortages and strikes.

  • What a shame to start such huge projects when the people of Greece are homeless and jobless. Everyone supports the benefits of art and music, but there is a time to enact such large projects.. and this is not that time. This excludes the empty design of the building itself.

  • The Foundation would do better to support the programme at the Athens Megaron, a complex of concert halls and opera houses, which has been ravaged by cuts in recent seasons. It’s a superb venue with wonderfully committed staff and has hosted many of the world’s finest artists, ensembles and orchestras.

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