THE GARDEN OF EDEN FOR EVENTS
A country house, gallery, garden, event space and an ethnographic museum are what hides behind the facade of the Vorres Museum in a town called Painia, near the centre of Athens. A 320,000m2 piece of land is home to numerous buildings, heavenly Mediterranean gardens and more than 6,000 museum artifacts that unveil 4,000 years of turbulent Greek history. The museum was born after the Vorres’ family vision became a reality and was donated to the Greek government through their foundation, established in 1983. Its founder, Ian Vorres (1924-2016), was very keen on keeping alive Greek cultural heritage that started fading away soon after World War 2. He spent most of his working days in Canada and became obsessed with building the museum when he returned to his homeland. The museum is an interesting intertwinement of old and new, starting with two traditional houses called “Pyrghi”, which seamlessly make the transition into the new collection of Modern Greek art. In addition to permanent exhibitions, visitors can also enjoy temporary exhibitions, like this summer’s display of amazing olive tree graphics.
Hotels offering stunning views of the city are the perfect getaway from the beaming Athenian energy. The choice of hotels is vast and you will easily find everything from independent hotel brands to renowned international hotel chains, from the icons like the Hilton, Electra Palace and Grand Bretagne to an excellent selection of designer palaces, such as Hotel Was – there is literally something to suit every taste. A professional congress service with a touch of Mediterranean spirit is what makes the accommodation in Athens so special and if you are looking for accommodation near the Vorres museum, the safest option would probably be one of the hotels at the nearby Athens International Airport, with Sofitel being the largest one.
Ian Vorres was born in Athens in 1924, served with the American Special Forces behind German lines in the Second World War and fled to Canada at the war’s end. He attended Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, where he studied philosophy and psychology, taught for a while and then swapped his chalkboard for a typewriter and became the art critic for the Hamilton Spectator and contributor to The Globe and Mail and Saturday Night, among other publications. In 1962, he wrote a highly successful book, The Last Grand Duchess, the authorized biography of Olga, the youngest child of Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Unlike her brother, she survived the Russian Revolution and ended her days in relative obscurity in Canada.