Information about the Museums Organisation

There is no Museums Association in Greece. The majority of Greek museums, that is all state archaeological museums (approximately 200) as well as private archaeological museums are supervised by the Directorate of Museums, Exhibitions & Educational Programmes (DMEEP) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Directorate is a public authority.


Foundation (Year): 




All state archaeological museums (approximately 200) as well as private archaeological museums are supervised by DMEEP. 



State  (As a Ministry service, the DMEEP receives its budget from central government).


Have the museums/your institution experienced budget cuts in connection with the financial crisis in the last two years? 



If yes: What budget cuts in % are being made by (national) governments?

In 2010 as a result of drastic government cuts, the budget for culture dropped by 13,3% compared to that of 2009 and a further reduction is expected in 2011. The bulk of the available funding is used to maintain the infrastructure, cover operational costs of Ministry services, pay salaries and cover the annual subsidies to cultural institutions and organisations operating at arms length from the Ministry (eg National Book Centre, Greek Festival, National Opera House, Thessaloniki Film Festival), including major museums, such as the National Gallery, two State Museums of Contemporary Art, the National History museum, the Benaki Museum etc. The large part of those museums saw their budget drop up to 19% compared to the previous year. Regarding over 200 archaeological museums which constitute the largest group of museums in the country and are fully dependent on central government funding, there are no readily available data. 


How do museums cope with the budget cuts? 

Mounting large-scale temporary exhibitions is admittedly getting more and more difficult. There have been cases where exhibitions had to be cancelled. However, most major museums seem determined to continue their exhibition schedule with lower production costs. Up until now, there have been no cases of museums having to merge so as to eliminate staff and resources. However, a relatively recent trend is museum alliances: museums of the same area forming collaboration networks and signing multi-annual agreements on common ticket policy, public programming and promotion of their activities. 


Number of museums in your country:

Total: 287 (In the absence of a national accreditation scheme or data derived from a national museum census, this figure is an estimate based on the records kept by the Directorate of Museums, Exhibitions & Educational Programmes and the lists included in the Ministry's portal).


(in  % or total number)

Art and Design: 26 (including music, photography, cinema and theatre museums)

History/Ethnography: 52

Archaeology: 203

Natural History:6

Science/Technology: 5


Total number of museums: 292

Professionally run museums: 292



Ownership of Museums:

State: 204

Municipalities, communities: N/A

Private (foundations, associations, etc.): N/A



Other museum organisations:


ICOM (National Committee)
15, Asomaton Str., GR- 105 53 Athens
T: +30-210 3239414 

F: +30-210 3239414


Museum magazine:

ICOM Newsletter
Published twice a year by the ICOM National Committee
15, Asomaton Str.

105 53 Athens
T: +30-210 3239414 

F: +30-210 3239414

Journal of Museology (Tetradia Mouseiologias)
Edited by a group of museum professionals and published yearly by
Kaleidoscope Publications
50, Omirou Str. 

106 72 Athens
T: +30-210-3627641, 3632788


Museology - International Scientific Electronic Journal
Published yearly by the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication of the University of the Aegean
Charilaou Trikoupi & Faonos Str.

81100 Mytilene

T: +30 22510 36600

F: +30 22510 36609




Biannual museological journal published by the Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens in separate English and Greek editions since 2007.

Byzantine & Christian Museum

22, Vas. Sofias Ave.

106 75 Athens

T: +30 213 213 9572

National Museum legislation and structure:

Museum administration is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is the main policy making body in the fields of cultural heritage and the arts. Archaeological museums are, with a few exceptions, state-owned museums; they are staffed by Ministry officials and receive their budget from the state. In their great majority, they are managed by the regional services of the Ministry, i.e. Ephorates of Antiquities. Other categories of museums operating under the authority of the Ministry of Culture, include history and ethnography museums, science museums, natural history museums, maritime museums and modern art museums and galleries. Although a large part of these museums are financially supported by the Ministry, they are almost in their entirety owned and run by local authorities or private organisations (e.g. foundations, cultural associations).

Legislation related to cultural heritage, and especially museums, is prepared and introduced by the Ministry of Culture and approved by the parliament and via presidential decrees. Article 45 of Law 3028/02 establishes the legal framework for museums in Greece.
It provides a definition of museum, according to which: a museum is a service or an organization of non-profit character, with or without legal personality, which acquires, accepts, safeguards, conserver, records, documents, researches, interprets and primarily exhibits and promotes to the public collections of archaeological, artistic, ethnological or other material evidence of people and their environment, for purposes of study, education and employment. Services or organizations with similar objectives and functions such as open-air museums may also be considered as museums. 


Recognition of museums

There are "state museums" and "museums established by or belonging to other legal persons". In order for the latter to benefit from the regulations governing museums, they must be recognized as such by decision of the Minister of Culture. For such recognition, the Council of Museums gives, upon the museum's application, its opinion whether the institution meets the legal definition of a museum, taking into account the importance of the collections, the adequacy and suitability of the premises and the employed personnel, as well as the museum's means and methods for achieving its objectives.

A decision of the Minister of Culture defining the procedure for the establishment or recognition of museums is under way.


Loan and temporary export of objects forming part of museum collections may be allowed under conditions such as a) a time limit no longer than 5 years (renewable), b) reciprocal exchange with another museum, c) the provision of guarantees for safe transport.

Other issues

Museums are governed by their internal regulations. State museums adopt these by a decision of the Minister of Culture following an opinion by the Council of Museums. Other museums must simply notify the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The objects kept in museums must be registered in the National Inventory of Monuments.