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Fokas – Kosmetatos Museum

The Sons of Panagis Fokas- Kosmetatos Foundation is a charitable institution located in Argostoli, Kefalonia. It was established in 1984 with the bequest of the brothers Spiridon and Nikolaos Kosmetou. The foundation’s initial purpose was to turn the family home in Argostoli into a Museum- Gallery for the exhibition of its private collections and, provided that resources were sufficient, to publish or republish research papers concerning theSeven islands” Eptanesa” and Kefalonia. The purposes then expanded in order to adapt to modern age developments and to become a dynamic and modern learning environment for the residents of Kefalonia, especially for the young people and the children.

The Sons of Panagis Fokas- Kosmetatos Foundation is situated at P. Ballianou Street 1 close to the Central Square of Argostoli. The Foundation is accommodated in the brothers’ family home, which was rebuilt on a smaller scale in 1956 after its complete destruction in the 1953 earthquake and the fire that followed. The building maintains elements of traditional Kefalonian architecture to a great extent, adapted to modern day need and has been declared a landmark. Nowadays, it is divided into three sections: collections are located on the ground floor, Archives are in the basement and the Secretary is on the first floor. Temporary exhibitions organized by the Foundation are held in the garden of the building every year.

The Fokas- Kosmetatos Foundation Collections form an educational exhibition hall directed not only to every Kefalonian, but to every visitor/ traveler as well. Among other things, the Fokas- Kosmetatos family furniture from the beginning of the 20th century is included, as well as lithographies by Joseph Cartwright (Views of the Ionian Islands), Edward Lear and Henry Cook, lithographies with traditional attires of the Ionian Islands and portraits. The small part of a collection of coins and paper money which is exhibited covers the money used in the Eptanesa throughout its long history. More specifically, the coin collection has representative specimens of the Athenian and Corinthian drachma, the Roman solidus, the Byzantine coin and hyperpyron, the Venetian ducat, the Austrian shilling etc., while the paper money is Greek. Amongst these, the ones that are Eptanesian stand out, from the “kolonata” of the Ionian Bank to the “drachma” of the Italian occupation. There is also a gift shop where visitors can purchase publications of the Foundation and other items as well.

According to the Kosmetatos brothers’ bequest, the Foundation may accept donations of museum artifacts, photographs and art work under the condition that they are prior to 1900. Those who are interested can contact the Foundation’s Secretary for more details concerning the processes of accepting donations.

The Collections are open to the public from May until October.
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