Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

7. Museums in Greece using new technologies

The relative high costs of technology and the need to keep up with the latest developments prompt many Greek museums to remain outside a full entry into the multi media world for displays and accessing to further information. Even the football museum for Olympiakos, although it started with an optimistic note as to what it could provide visitors and club fans alike, had to down scale this part of the museum due to budgetary reasons.

Prior to the Olympic Games, cities and museums became engaged in presenting specific features of their cultural heritages by making use of new technology e.g. Yiorgos Papakonstantinou’s production of the history of the city of Iraklion on DVD (cost: 50 000 Euro)

Case Studies


Since then technology museums have been outdistanced by others such as the Planetarium in Athens due to featuring digitalized films to make possible the voyage into outer space. The aspects are featured here: a central auditorium to feature the latest technical development and thereby continue translating collective experiences into forms of entertainment and a way to popularize things; the videothek next to the book shop with its own new media gadgets; and things being displayed in the exhibitions with a series of means being used (touch screen, digital sound room, imprint on silver screen what was asked for on a desk top like request site).

Glykeria Anyfadi: we rely upon the scientific object to convey enough messages – the value of scientific research and what is on display in terms of a specific scientific discovery – to the visitor so that no extra multi media is needed. The stress is upon the visitor making first hand experiences.






International Planetarium Society

Planetarium Development Guide

This is a work in progress. Click on the chapter title to read a PDF file version of the chapter. Unlinked chapter titles represent chapters that are either being written or under review, or, if no author is listed waiting for a volunteer to come forward to write them.

Comments or questions about these chapters may be directed to:  Ken Wilson, chairman of the IPS Planetarium Development Group Committee, e-mail: kwilson@smv.org




Chapter Topic




Ken Wilson


Working with Architects, Contractors, and Consultants

Kevin Scott


Safety & Security

Lee Hines


Theater Configuration

Kevin Scott


Planetarium Environment

Kevin Scott


Interior Domes

Ken Wilson


Star Projectors

Ken Wilson


Automation & Control Systems

Kris McCall


Sound Systems/Studios



Video/Data Projection

Kevin Scott


Special Effects & Multi-Image/Slides



Wide Angle Film Systems



Laser Projection Systems

Jack Dunn


Support Areas

Karl von Ahnen



Karen Klamczynski





Participatory Planetaria









Latest update: 21 May 2004
Comments about this page's contents to: Alan Gould




Benaki Museum

“The Benaki Museum ranks among the great benefactions which have enriched the material assets of the Greek state. At the same time, it is the oldest museum in Greece, which functions as a Foundation under Private Law.
Through its extensive collections covering several different cultural fields, as well as its more general range of activities which serve more than one social need, the Benaki Museum is perhaps the sole instance of a complex structure within the wider network of museum foundations in Greece.”

Collection about Greece

“This group of collections comprises many distinct categories totalling more than 30.000 items illustrating the character of the Greek world through a spectacular historical panorama: from antiquity and the age of Roman domination to the medieval Byzantine period, from the fall of Constantinople (1453) and the centuries of Frankish and Ottoman occupation to the outbreak of the struggle for independence in 1821, and from the formation of the modern state of Greece (1830) down to 1922, the year in which the Asia Minor disaster took place.”

The Benaki Museum has a technology department and been involved in numerous, including European projects to finance specific innovations and use of new technologies and multi media for display purposes, archiving and contribution to the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.

MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGIES – examples of innovative developments

Polemon-EPET II (1995-1997). The following applications were developed as part of the Polemon programme:
1) Multimedia applications entitled "Athens through the eyes of travellers" and "Antonis Benakis: his life and museum", both intended for the information kiosks located at different points throughout the Museum.
2) CLIO-MITOS: a semantic-index-based system of documenting cultural information


The CLIO-MITOS system was developed at the Institute for Computer Science - FORTH, as part of the European programmes STRIDE (1992-1993) and POLEMON (1995-1997). CLIO-MITOS is an object-oriented documentation system for cultural information, which uses the semantic-index-based data model SIS. It is characterised by an open and dynamically evolving data structure, which permits the user to define the information which is supplied.
More information is available on the website: http://www.ics.forth.gr/proj/isst/Systems/clio.html

3) A collections management system.

FAME-ESPRIT ESSI (1994-1995)
Framework for Management and Design of Multimedia Applications in Education and Training. FAME was an Esprit programme aimed at the creation of experimental applications which could be used for the development and production of multimedia applications based on new methodologies and intended for use in education and training. The Benaki Museum was mainly involved in organising usability tests for the applications. Other organisations which took part in the programme were First Informatics SA and the Lambrakis Research Foundation.

Hypertext Interface for Information: Multimedia and Relational Databases-ESPRIT (1992-1994). HI-FI was a European Esprit programme aimed at developing methodologies and prototype systems for using hypertext interface to access information stored in relational databases. The Benaki Museum developed a model database for the documentation of cultural information and also implemented the multimedia application entitled “Gold of Greece”, enabling the jewellery which toured the world in the exhibition of the same name to be subjected to specific searches. Other organisations which took part in the programme were: Systems and Management, SpA, Syntax Sistemi Software SpA, Gesellschaft fur Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung mbH, Siemens, Politecnico di Milano, MUSIC/FORTH, and Epsilon Software.

For further sources of information see [1]

Other examples of the Benaki Museum include:


As to other multimedia application, there is


The DVD-ROM multimedia application "Greece at the Benaki Museum" was published in 2002 by Kastaniotis Publications.
An updated application under the title "Greece at the Benaki Museum", Benaki Museum, 2004, has been published in english with a new cover.
Multimedia technology is utilised creatively, in order to familiarise the visitor with the Museum's Greek Collections and its appearance.
This project follows the history of Greek Civilisation from antiquity to the first decades of the twentieth century, through 44 movie clips, organised in four major periods: "In search of the Distinctive Characteristics of Antiquity", "Continuity and Cohesion during the Byzantine Period", "Hellenism during the Period of Foreign Rule" and "Towards the Modern Greek State". A powerful search engine permits the user to search for approximately 1,000 artefacts on the basis of the historical category to which they belong, the manner of object, the characteristic materials and techniques used in their making.
The basic advantage of the application it is the multi-criteria search capacity it offers for museum objects utilising the index function as well as historical maps.
Simultaneously, a second search engine allows users to research the places of origin of Museum artefacts or the places where they were found. A section of the application is dedicated to the history of the Benaki Museum, the work of its founder and benefactors, as well as the contents, the activities, operation and goals of the contemporary Benaki Museum.


Recent works using modern technology

Development of an information kiosk for the exhibition

As part of the exhibition "Greek Jewellery from the collections of the Benaki Museum", a multimedia application was developed for an information kiosk at the exhibition hall to help visitors obtain more information about the jewellery on display. The user was able to initiate his research using five basic criteria: types, materials, techniques of production and decoration, subject matter, and chronological periods. After touring various groups of jewellery, the user was presented with a number of jewels on display, and then directed to their actual location in the exhibition. By making use of this application, the visitor was able to learn about jewellery through the ages.
This application is going to be hosted by information kiosks in the Museum

A city’s development on DVD’ – Benaki museum presents an innovative film showcasing the transformation of Athens from a quiet, Mediterranean city in the 1920s to an uncontrollable urban-planning complex by the beginning of the 21st century – now available in DVD form.

Support: Greek Film Center and Greek Radio and Television (ERT)

Content: Greek cinema – records of the city’s architectural and social development so that more than 530 frames were extracted from no fewer than 184 Greek films

Resources: local cinemas proved to be an invaluable source of archival material, ultimately safeguarding long-lost images of the Greek capital

Producer: Dimitris Damaskos

Director: Yiannis Skopeteas

Architect: Dimitris Phillipidis

Guidebook: Dimitris Koliodimou, “Dictionary of Greek Film from 1914 to 2000

Production process: 511 films were screened – first draft: 18 hours

Final product: archive material – 90 Minutes with 20 minutes added by “including new scenes, featuring four defining personalities of Greek cinema, all acting as hosts on this journey of Athenian history” [2]

Nikos Xanthopoulos – guides viewers through a tour of popular, working-class Athenian neighborhoods

Xenia Kalogeropoulous – takes a look at a bourgeoisie city which endlessly replaced old constructions with new ones

Nikos Kalogeropoulos – focuses on post-junta Athens of New Greek Cinema

Myrto Alikaki – the new, metropolitan Athens as the city has developed during the past two decades







Technology Museum

The Technology Museum has been active in Northern Greece since 1978. During these years it has passed through various stages of development. To date (2001), over 800.000 individuals -most of them young people- have taken part in its various activities and have found the museum’s environment to be ideal for finding out about and involving themselves with Technological Culture.

November 1978 - October 1989

The first Exhibition Hall of TMTh in Acheloos str.

The Technology Museum was established in November 1978, after two years’ research and preparation by a small team of educators, engineers, and businessmen, on the initiative and through the efforts of its subsequent director, Mr. M. Iatridis. The founders shared a vision of a public-spirited cultural body existing to educate the general public, but mainly school children and students, on subjects associated with Science and Technology.

The Museum’s Exhibition Hall was housed during the 1979-1989 period in a 500 sq.m. space of a building on Acheloos Street, which was provided by Mr. P. Tsoukalas, a founding member.

The enthusiasm and support of its members and many friends coupled with numerous remarkable offers of exhibits from organisations, businesses and private individuals, succeeded, in a short period of time, in giving the museum real substance, thus enabling it to provide a valuable service to school groups and individual visitors.

This period saw the creation of the museum’s infrastructure, and an increase in the experience and know-how required for the organisation and running of the museum. This period also witnessed developments in the Technology Museum’s parallel activities which came to include regular talks on scientific subjects given by eminent speakers; annual written competitions for school children; seminars for groups of teachers on the use of audio-visual teaching methods; and joint programmes with other bodies working with youth and education.

Similarly, efforts for the design and construction of small mobile exhibitions bore fruit. The most important, entitled «Man in Space» was organized in 1987, on the thirtieth anniversary of the launch of Spoutnik - 1 into space, with material donated by NASA, ESA, and the Russian Space Agency.

October 1989 - June 199

The Museum's Exhibition Hall in 1989

From the beginning of 1988, it was obvious that the Museum needed bigger and more suitable housing for its activities. The Greek Bank for Industrial Development (ETBA), recognising the public-spirited nature of the Technology Museum and its contributions in the field of Technological Culture, offered to the Museum a new industrial building, with a total floor space of 1.500 sq.m., located in the Thessaloniki Industrial Zone, for a period of ten years.

The building was suitably renovated and the museum was enhanced by the creation of new thematic exhibitions, offices, a library, a workshop, a room dedicated to Educational Technology, and a small lecture room. The new installations were inaugurated on October 8, 1989.
Due to the lack of air-conditioning, visitors were only able to visit the Museum during the spring and autumn months. In spite of this, a large number of people - over 30.000 every year, mostly school children and students - have visited the museum and participated in its various activities between 1990 and 1995.

During this period, the Technology Museum was active in many other cultural and educational areas and organised a large number of Science demonstrations and exhibitions in Thessaloniki, as well as other cities throughout Northern Greece.

June 1995 - December 2000

In June 1995, thanks to the interest of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, the Technology Museum entered into an EPET-II E.C. funding programme and has therefore succeeded in completing the first phase of important work on the remodelling and refurbishment of the Exhibition Hall; the modernisation of its installations; and a major step forward in the presentation techniques (multimedia) for the exhibits. Work on the documentation of the exhibits and research into the educational role of the museum has also been undertaken, with the assistance of modern methods and media, within the framework of the same E.C. Programme.

The Museum today

The Technology Museum keeps on its efforts for the enrichment of its collections, the research and the promotion of the Ancient Greek Technology as well as the creation of a Classic Cars exhibition. The recognition of the state has played a decisive role to the progress of the Museum’s work. The European Investment Bank and the Ministry of National Economy are funding the relocation of the Museum to new modern buildings. The new buildings will host the Museum’s exhibits, the audiovisual shows and several other activities.

The idea for the organization of an Exhibition having as subject the Ancient Greek Technology was proposed jointly by two cooperating institutions: The Association for the Study of the Ancient Greek Technology and the Technology Museum of Thessaloniki


Exceptional exhibit





Where «…recreation imparts knowledge and learning is fun».
Since the Technology Museum started operating, efforts have been made in the Exhibition Hall to get away from the usual view of glass cases and countless notices exhorting the visitor not to touch anything.

The philosophy of the Technology Museum has always been to create a suitable infrastructure and environment in its Exhibition Hall for the visitor to touch, try out, and experiment with the exhibits.

The «Eureka» Science Park was created with this in mind, and as such it constitutes one of the main poles of attraction for the school children and students who visit the Museum; as such, it attracts their attention to a particularly high degree.

The Science Park occupies a 200 sq.m. area and consists of 30 self-standing, experimental units and apparatuses covering subjects within Electricity, Optics, Aerodynamics, Acoustics, Astronomy and others. Each device has been especially designed and built to operate under the direct control of the visitor. The Science Park creates therefore a unique environment and gives visitors the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the laws, phenomena, and particularities of Nature and Science.

Hamster wheel                        Weight on the planet               Satellite mirror



The museum has been newly renovated and re-opened on August 1, 2013.


Άνοιξε της πύλες τις η νέα αίθουσα του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Ηρακλείου  






[1] http://www.benaki.gr/documentationsystems/en/new.htm


[2] “A city’s development on DVD”, Kathimerini, Wed. Feb. 16, 2005, p. 7

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