Information about the new museum opening in Argostoli from the printed version of the Greek newspaper “Kathimerini” images from the FB post of Δώρα Μαρκατου
In 1967, an oversized sculpture, in his workshop in Paris, overwhelmed him and so the genius sculptor Gerasimos Sklavos disappeared ingloriously, like a tragic hero, at the age of 40. It was a short life, with a deep imprint. “In his honor, a year after his death, Yvonne Zervos organized an exhibition dedicated to small-scale works, while Cecil Goldschider, curator of the Rodin Museum, presented his monumental works in the museum gardens.” Dr. Olga Mentzafou-Polyzou, Honorary Director of Collections – Museological and Artistic Programming of the National Gallery, has recently dedicated herself to the museological study of the new museum for Gerasimos Sklavos, which is being prepared in his hometown, K.
“The purpose of the museum is to highlight and promote the special personality of the artist”, she says, “his contribution to the avant-garde of sculpture and its establishment within a decade, 1957-1967, as long as the short period of his artistic creation interrupted by premature death “. The new museum has a secured roof, the listed building that belonged to the Bank of Greece in Argostoli, which has been purchased by the municipality. “The project will be proposed for immediate inclusion in the” Antonis Tritsis “program”, says George Tsilimidos, Deputy Mayor of Culture, who has been supporting and promoting this initiative for a number of years. “The building part will be proposed in” Urban Revitalization “, the museological part in the program” Greece 1821 – Greece 2021 “with the support of the Commission” Greece 2021 “.
The Municipality of Argostoli, through G. Tsilimidou, addressed the family of Gerasimos Sklavos, his three living brothers, for the large collection of his works in their possession. “We developed our vision and convinced that we want to create an important, branded art space,” he says. “The family decided to proceed with the concession of the works of the collection on the condition that the building will be named” Museum of the Sculptor of Gerasimos Sklavos “”.
Olga Mentzafou claims that “the promotion and dissemination of the work of Gerasimos Sklavos, in his birthplace, was considered the minimum debt and tribute to this most important Greek artist with international recognition and promotion.” George Tsilimidos, for his part, believes in the added value of this initiative. “We want our island to strengthen its cultural identity by creating a museum with an international impact, since the artistic size of G. Sklavos is global,” he says.
“Having a clear view that in the case of Sklavos it is not so much the chronological evolution of his work that arouses interest, but the projection of his pioneering thought in his struggle with matter”, Olga Mentzafou collaborated with the architects from the first stages of the study, “organizing the material by forming it into sets, so that it can clearly be included in the possibilities provided by the building and the interventions that it could accept”. The museographic study is signed by the architectural office of Vassilis Divanis, with consultants Sonia Charalambidou, Emeritus Professor of Architecture, and Irini Charalambidou.
The special case of Gerasimos Sklavos as a spiritual figure with a deep “personal theoretical background”, as Olga Mentzafou says, will emerge through the works found in the workshop in Paris and transferred to Athens by his family after his death. “Sculptures in marble, The poor boy from Argostoli, the eminent Greek of the Diaspora, the famous sculptor of Paris.
iron and copper, terracotta, plaster molds, molds, fragments of various materials, paintings, drawings and rich archival material “.
The “return” of Gerasimos Sklavos to Cephalonia causes excitement to scholars and experts. According to Dora Markatou, former associate professor of Art History at the University of Ioannina, “Gerasimos Sklavos, the poor boy from Kefalonia, the eminent Greek of the Diaspora, the famous sculptor of Paris, the world artist his birthplace, in the nature of which he owed the first creative stimuli. I welcome the establishment of the Gerasimos Sklavos Museum as a great moment in the history of culture in our country “.
It is important that the museum, and with the help of technology, can be developed into a study center. As the deputy mayor George Tsilimidos says, “the museum will be equipped with all modern audiovisual and technological means, such as e.g. reproductions from 3D prints “, as, according to Olga Mentzafou,” the aim of this museum, apart from being a place of projection, promotion and study of the work of Gerasimos Sklavos, is to become a place of scientific research on modern Greek and European sculpture “.