Historic Galata Greek School transformed into vibrant cultural hub
After a long journey of transformation, the historic Galata Greek School in Karakoy has reopened its doors as a vibrant cultural and artistic venue. The school, which originally started its educational endeavors in 1910, underwent various phases of change over the years. Now, with a restored façade and renewed purpose, it welcomes visitors to the captivating "Aziz Istanbul" exhibition, according to a report by Bianet.
Curated by Dr. Fani-Maria Tsigakou and Hulya Bilgi, the exhibition presents a unique selection of paintings depicting Istanbul from the collections of the Athanasios and Marina Martinos Foundation (AMMF), along with church artifacts from the Vehbi Koc Foundation's Sadberk Hanim Museum.
This captivating showcase of artworks captures the splendor, cosmopolitan essence, and artistic taste of Ottoman Istanbul during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Supported by the AMMF, the restoration of the Galata Greek School building has brought it back to life, enabling it to fulfill its new mission as a hub for culture, art, and education.
The accomplished architect Murat Tabanlioglu played a pivotal role in reviving the historical charm of the building. Now, the Galata Greek School aims to explore and preserve the rich history, memory, and future of both the school and the city itself.
Speaking about the reopening, Meri Komorosano, President of the Galata Greek Primary School Foundation since 2009, expressed her excitement and dreams.
"Our vision has materialized today. Our school building aspires to be a cultural, artistic, and educational space that embraces the entire city of Istanbul, encompassing diverse cultural identities and heritage. Despite suggestions for it to become a hotel or university, I have always envisioned it as a cultural center," she said.
The exhibition, which features renowned artists such as Amadeo Preziosi, Joseph Schranz, Michel-François Préault, Clara Barthold Mayer, and many more, showcases a range of artistic mediums including watercolor on paper, oil paintings on canvas, and painted engravings.
Notably, the exhibition also includes rare panoramas and portraits that provide a captivating glimpse into the daily life and historical moments of Istanbul.
The Athanasios and Marina Martinos Foundation (AMMF), a non-profit organization founded in 2016, has been instrumental in supporting social initiatives in the fields of health, religion, education, and culture. Through their sponsorship, the AMMF has contributed significantly to the restoration of the Galata Greek School, furthering its commitment to preserving cultural heritage.
The "Aziz Istanbul" exhibition invites visitors to embark on a journey through the enchanting past of Istanbul, a city that has played a pivotal role in shaping the region's history and cultural tapestry. Open for free visitation from May 24 to November 12, 2023, the Galata Greek School's new chapter as a cultural haven promises to captivate and inspire all who step through its doors.