Art of Stone: Tinos’s Museum of Marble Crafts

Ever wondered how huge hunks of marble are shaped into exquisite works of art? Tinos's Museum of Marble Crafts reveals all.

More than any other material, it is marble that is most associated with Greek art and architecture, from antiquity until today. And no place has a richer modern marble-crafting tradition than the island of Tinos, located near Mykonos in the northern Cyclades.

Tinos’s rich heritage in marble craftsmanship was recently recognized by UNESCO which in 2015 ‘inscribed’ it it in its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The island has produced some of the greatest modern masters of the craft such as Yannoulis Chalepas (1851-1938). It is also home to the Preparatory and Professional School of Fine Arts that is dedicated to marble working and from where many graduates move on to take their craft to new heights at Greece’s School of Fine Arts.

It is thus fitting that Tinos is home to the Museum of Marble Crafts, dedicated to this rich history of marble production and craftsmanship.

What to See

Tinos’s Museum of Marble Crafts houses an impressive collection of authentic artifacts such as secular, ecclesiastical, funerary and everyday objects made of marble (door lintels, fountains, family crests, corbels, shrines, mortars and more). This collection is further enriched by plaster of paris and clay copies of key works, as well as a rich collection of original sketches by master craftsmen (the richest collection in Greece).

Together with its marble elements, the museum features a recreation of a marble quarry and a craftsman’s workshop, allowing visitors a detailed look into how this unforgiving material is shaped into fine sculptures and architectural elements, a process that requires both physical strength and incredible skill.

The exhibits are not confined to the museum’s interior. In the courtyard visitor’s will see salvaged mechanical equipment including an impressive crane for hoisting large blocks of marble and old industrial carts and wagons.

Hands-on exhibits have also been created to further engage children, allowing them to see and touch marble rocks in their natural state and observe their colors and crystals under a magnifying glass. Live demonstrations with local craftsman and group tours with games and activities can also be arranged.

Pyrgos Village

Outside of the museum one can also see marble works in their ‘natural state’ the nearby village of Pyrgos, a short 10-minute-walk away. Almost an outdoor museum in its own right, the village’s houses and shops are richly adorned with marble ornamentation and sculptures. In a place where even the bus-stop is constructed almost entirely out of marble, one can see that the material is not just a natural product, but a way of life. 


The Museum of Marble Crafts belongs to the Thematic Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP). Open every day except Tuesdays, general admission costs 3 euros. 

• Pyrgos, Panormos Tinou 842 01

• Telephone: 22830 31290

• Fax: (+30) 25540 24027

Read More


The Summer’s Best Exhibitions & Events in Athens

A roundup of the best summer 2017 events, exhibitions and...


Cretan Capital: A Guide to the City of Heraklion

The capital of Crete is a lively university town with...

Aegean Islands

Bringing the Little-Known Ancient Wealth of the Cyclades to Light

Long overshadowed by Delos, islands like Mykonos and Naxos have...

Aegean Islands

Cycladic Island of the Day: Timeless Ios

There’s more to Ios than parties. Here are three tips...

Greece Is Blog Posts

Studying in Thessaloniki: The Campus on My Doorstep

BY Pantelis Tsompanis

A coming-of-age story on the streets of Thessaloniki.

read more >

I believe in Greece

BY Greece Is

Every time I see the Parthenon it takes my breath...

read more >

A House in Kritsa

BY Claire Lees Ingham

“It was all a bit spontaneous,” I say, when people...

read more >