With the Benaki Museum

The works in the Collection were photographed initially by Emil Seraf, in the decade 1935 – 1945, and much later by Platon Rivellis, in 1988.

In June 1991 the Benaki Museum decided to plan a ‘Programme of Works’ for the icons in the Velimezis Collection. Professor Angelos Delivorrias, the Director of the Museum, assumed responsibility for organizing the project. This included locating the icons dispersed in smaller units or collections, for the fullest reassembly of the original collection, as well as the conservation, study, publication and exhibition by the Benaki Museum of the Emilios Velimezis Icon Collection. Concurrently, the project’s collaborators were chosen.

The heavy onus of research and scientific documentation was shouldered by Nano Chatzidakis, then Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina. Stergios Stassinopoulos, head of theBenaki Museum Conservation Laboratories, along with his colleagues, undertook the cleaning and conserving of the icons, while photographer Makis Skiadaressis, with his well-known sensitivity, took the final photographs of those icons that had been located at the time, and of their details. Lastly, Christos Ph.Margaritis was in charge of the organizational and financial issues of the project.

The necessary finances were secured by a long-term fund-raising programme accompanied by the concurrent organization of offsets for potential sponsors, donors and benefactors, private and corporate.

Individual tasks were planned in such a way as not to interfere with the normal functioning of the Benaki Museum, while at the same time utilizing the experience and abilities of its personnel, as well as its facilities in all sectors, with the coordination of archaeologist Electra Georgoula for the Museum and of Christos Margaritis for all other matters.

The Project is under the auspices of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic, the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.