I Kathimerini Thessaloniki Biennale

Υiannis Boutaris, Breaking Taboos, and the Three Goals

The city’s municipal authority has invested its last money in the profile of Yiannis Boutaris – the mayor with ‘the fewest complexes’, as those in the know say…

Bingo! Thessaloniki seems to be fighting back through its landmarks: The White Tower hosts a digital exhibition for the visually and hearing impaired, organised by the Museum of Byzantine Culture, while at the same time inspiring the products of a store that breathes new life into souvenirs, centrally located on Navarinou Street and called From Thessaloniki. Mount Athos Center may sell John’s Ladder on the ground floor even as it hosts an installation by Peggy Kliafa on the mezzanine, made of pill blisters in the context of the 6th Biennial of Contemporary Art, which runs until January. Meanwhile, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Alexander Iolas’s donation, the works of the aborted Çanakkale Biennial, alongside exhibits from the most dynamic exhibition in the city so far, Common Sacred Sites, on Thessaloniki’s Christian, Jewish, and Muslim past. On top of everything, the exhibition poster was vandalised. ‘We are not removing the vandalised poster; it will remain as a memorial of the conflict of the new and the old in this city, bringing civil society together and fostering synergies’, according to a statement.

With … examples

In 2018, in fact, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, the Biennial, and Dimitria are jointly organising an art exhibition of exclusively Thessaloniki-based artists at St Petersburg’s Hermitage. ‘The city benefits when citizens are satisfied and institutions alive’, was stated to K.

‘There are three goals, and we are gradually getting there: the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, the Holocaust Museum, and the display of metro finds. We have no budget for major cultural events, yet we are investing in culture, history, and tourism.’