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Carving history

Marble craftsmanship is celebrated in a unique museum on the island of Tinos.

Marble is a material that holds a special place in the architecture and art of Greece, from antiquity to the present. If there is one place in particular where the art of marble-carving is an expression of its cultural identity, it is the island of Tinos – and the inscription of Tinian marble craftsmanship on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity came to recognize that in 2015. The unique Museum of Marble Crafts of Tinos, in Pirgos, is the first of its kind in Greece and belongs to a network of thematic museums organized and managed by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP). The permanent display allows visitors to see the intricate meshing of tools and techniques used in working marble, with emphasis on the pre- and proto- industrial Tinos, the most important centre of marble crafts in Modern Greece. Apart from an impressive number of objects, the exhibition’s audiovisual material not only brings to life the traditional work methods of the quarryman and the marble craftsman, but also presents the social and economic side of this craft, the categories of its products, the historical trajectory of marble carving and sculpting on Tinos, as well as the contribution of Tinian marble craftsmen to the construction of Athens and other towns in the 19th century. The exhibition extends to the museum’s outdoor areas where visitors can see completed and semi-wrought marble works, along with historical mechanical equipment that reflect typical images of in-situ working environments.
(Pirgos, Panormos Tinou, tel. 2283031290, www.piop.gr)