The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation
“The Jury was much impressed by the altruistic approaches of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, and praised the important work done to grant derelict heritage buildings a second life by transforming them into regional museums, well suited to attract the public at large. The museums thus created represent an exemplary effort to make both the buildings and their collections available to the public, a most praiseworthy effort of ensuring sustainability in a regional context.”
The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) is a non-profit institution that represents the Culture Pole of the Piraeus Bank Group. PIOP aims at safeguarding technology and traditional crafts, a neglected domain of Greek culture, becoming a reliable and constant mediator for the preservation and promotion of pre-industrial and industrial heritage.
The Museums Network marks PIOP’s outstanding contribution. It is an excellent example for the creation and management of museums in the Greek regions, while also ensuring sustainability and supporting regional development.
Seven technological thematic museums have been created, whilst two more are on the way. These museums highlight distinctive productive activities, representative of each region, and, through their outreach activities, become a point of reference for the local population. Besides the expanded geographical span of the Network, it is also notable that these museums do not belong either to the Foundation or to the Bank, but to the Ministry of Culture and to local government, whilst PIOP has undertaken the commitment of funding and managing the Network for fifty years.