Greece’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, has inaugurated the long-awaited archaeological museum on the Cycladic island of Kythnos. During her speech at the opening ceremony, the Minister said the museum was “a vision for the island’s residents, who have been waiting for it to be realized for 30 years.”
Housed in an old primary school in the main town of Hora, the museum presents exhibits from important archaeological sites on the island, including the ancient city of Vryokastro, scattered finds and architectural elements from various rescue excavations, and the extraordinary hunter-gatherer (Mesolithic) site of Maroulas, the oldest island settlement in the Aegean, dated to the early 9th millennium BC.
Just three hours by ferry from Piraeus (two from the port of Lavrio), carefree Kythnos is a hidden gem in the Cyclades. In the age of mass tourism, the island has remained under the radar, offering great beaches, beautiful seaside villages, and a unique natural environment.
The opening of the new museum is a watershed moment for the local community, providing a platform to showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage and promote its sustainable future. It is hoped that the museum will also be popular with tourists, who are drawn to the island for its laidback simplicity and charm.
“Giving a museum to local communities is very important, because it gives them part of their identity,” Mendoni said.
She also praised the hard work of the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades, the Archaeological Service, and the South Aegean Regional Governor Giorgos Hatjimarkos, who in 2016 embraced the wish of the residents of Kythnos and started the process of creating the museum with funding from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2014-2021.
The museum’s inauguration event was attended by Kythnos Mayor Stamatis Garderis and representatives from other local authorities.