The Last Greeks of Asia Minor
2 Dec 2002 - 28 Feb 2003
On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Asia Minor Disaster (the uprooting of the Greek communities from the region in 1922), the Directory of Folk Culture (Hellenic Ministry of Culture), the Center of Asia Minor Studies and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, organize the exhibition The Last Greeks of Asia Minor at the National History Museum (Old Parliament Building) in Athens.
With documents and reports, the exhibition aims to recreate and highlight various aspects (religious, educational, social, cultural) of the late presence of the Greek population in Asia Minor. At the same time, it reconstructs the historic framework within which the developments that changed the map of the region unfolded.
The exhibits do not limit the thematic of the exhibition just in the western, coastal Asia Minor, but rather expand to other important geographical regions where Greek communities developed, like Pontus, Eastern Thrace and Cappadocia.
The exhibition is organized into units and attends the routes of Hellenism in the last few years before the Exodus from the lands of Asia Minor. A brief historic tour through time traces down the roots of Greek dynamic presence in the antiquity and documents the changes that happened as a result of the Ottoman conquest.
The daily life of enslaved Asia Minor Greeks, their problems, the crucial for the community's survival role of the church and education, are some of the exhibition's main concerns. Also presented are the military and political developments that played an important role in the first crucial years after the end of the first World War up until the 1922 disaster.
The various exhibits (historic relics, flags, engravings, documents, publications, rare editions, personal objects, photographs, traditional folk dresses) are coming from the rich collections of the History Museum and the Center of Asia Minor Studies. These exhibits alone prove the great interest of these foundations in preserving the historic memory of Asia Minor.
From the material exhibited, what impresses more is the series of photographs that were taken during the Asia Minor campaign by amateur and professional military photographers. These pictures show in a unique manner not just scenes of the operations but also snapshots of the soldiers' daily life.
Of special interest for visitors is also the great number of Karamanlite publications (meaning texts written in the Turkish language but with Greek letters), that manage to acquaint them with the unknown intellectual production of Cappadocia.
Relics of Patriarch Joachim III and Chrysostomos of Smyrna (today's Izmir), community codes, musical instruments and manuscripts, samples of folk art, are just some of the exhibits that attract the visitors.
The exhibition is accompanied by rich printed material.
Institutions that have also contributed to the exhibition are the Association of Smyrnans from Asia Minor and the Nea Sinassos Association.
+30-210-3226370, 3237315, 3237617, 3222266
Greek Ministry of Culture