The Archaeological Museum of Corfu, fully renovated and ready to receive the public, will open its doors again on Friday after being shut for six years. The two-storey building that housed the museum, built in 1967, underwent a complete overhaul costing 4.5 million euros, provided by the European Regional Development Fund.
The museum contains archaeological finds from Paleopolis, the ancient city of Corfu, and other areas of the island, dating from its earliest stone age settlements to the late Roman era.
Among its most important exhibits is the pediment of the Temple of Artemis Gorgon, measuring 17.02 metres long and 3.18 metres high, which is made of local limestone. This is considered to be the work of a Corinthian sculptor dating back to the first quarter of the 6th century B.C. that was made at a time when Corfu was undergoing significant political change and shaking off Corinthian rule. It is not known, however, whether the pediment was made under Corinthian rule or after the island gained its autonomy.
The museum’s collection is organised with the Gorgon pediment and related finds at its centre, while it also highlights finds made at the cemetery of the ancient city of Corfu, such as the remarkable Lion of Menekrates. Other units in the museum include the collection of prehistoric tools and other objects found in various locations on the island, dating back to the earliest traces of human presence, as well as a series of sculptures that illustrate the development of the arts and reveal the trade relations and beliefs of various eras.
Notable finds include those from the sanctuaries discovered at the Mon Repos estate excavations and sections of the ancient city found in the ’60s and ’70s, some of which are on display in the exhibition while others are in storage, alongside artifacts discovered in recent decades and the island’s coin collection.
The renovation of the museum was concluded in 2017 but the process of hiring staff needed to operate the museum was only recently completed. The official opening will be carried out by Culture Minister Myrsini Zorba.