Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

How great can a man be?  How is this measured?

History has produced, throughout its time, numerous great men and women whose accomplishments have carved our human society as we live it this very moment.  Tangible and intangible humanitarian assets, creations of unique individuals, exist in all continents.

A number of questions arise.  At the time when those creations were being formed, could the surrounding society, fully comprehend what was taking place in its back yard?  And what if one could live in such a moment?  What if one could follow through the construction process of the one of a kind of his era? What if one could simultaneously be present and fully understand the importance of what is occurring next to him?

All answers lie in the Faliro delta of Attica where the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is being constructed.

In 2006, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced the construction of the SNFCC in the former hippodrome area.  The construction of the cultural center would be a donation on behalf of the foundation to the Greek society.  The SNFCC would include the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera and the Stavros Niarchos Park.  Due to the progress of the construction and the completion of the Stavros Niarchos Park the site is now open to the public for a limited time of 4 days.

A marvelous opportunity to see something advanced, I thought.  The sun was hiding behind the clouds when I parked my sweet Saxo just at the coast line.  I passed through the Tae Kwon Do Olympic Stadium and walked the pedestrian bridge.

Something started to look and feel different.  An uncounted number of smiling staff was along the way showing the path to the entrance.  I am hearing beautiful Jazz sounds of what seems to be live music and the only thing that I can smell is fresh lavender.  I keep asking my self, where am I?

The majesty of this project focused my reflection upon the man behind this all.

Stavros Niarchos conceived the idea of transforming a part of his wealth into humanitarian gold by forming the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.  The most impressive of all is that he programmed the project to occur at a time he would not live to see it develop.

This amalgam of inspiration, vision, intelligence, quality and excellence is priceless and in no way can it be measured.

Chris

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