The museum was founded in 1976, after the private collection of Paul and Alexandra
Canellopoulos was donated to the Greek state. The Neoclassical building on the
north slope of the Acropolis was erected in 1864 and was originally used as the
mansion of the Michaleas family. In the 1960's-70's the building was purchased
by the Greek state and restored to permanently house the collection of antiquities.
The collections of the museum include:
Clay and stone vases and figurines, jewellery, and weapons of the Cycladic,
Minoan, and Mycenaean Civilization (3.000-1.200 B.C.)
Clay vases and figurines from Attica, the Cyclades and Cyprus, dated to
the Geometric period (1.000-700 B.C.)
Clay vases, figurines and busts, jewellery, bronze weapons, and vessels
from Attica, Corinth, Crete, Boeotia and the Aegean islands, dated to the Archaic
period (7th-6th centuries B.C.)
Black-figure and red-figure vases and white lekythoi from Attica and Boeotia
(6th-5th centuries B.C.)
Gold jewellery, sealstones and coins from Greek cities (6th century B.C.-4th
Clay statuettes of New Comedy (5th century B.C.), Tanagraias (4th-3rd century
Lamps, bronze figurines, vases (4th century B.C.- 3rd century A.D.)
Sculptures and inscriptions of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman era
(5th century B.C.-3rd century A.D.)
Funerary masks from Fayum (2nd-4th century A.D.), Coptic fabrics (6th-12th
Gold jewellery, bronze crosses, vases and lamps of the Byzantine period
(6th-12th centurie A.D.)
Byzantine coins and leadsealings
Liturgical vessels and wood-carvings of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine
period (9th-10th centuries)
Icons of the 14th-19th centuries, many of which bear the subscriptions of
their painters, mostly famous artists of the Cretan School, the School of Constantinople,
and from Macedonia.
Folk art jewellery, fabrics and elements of the popular garments and weapons,
dated to the 18th and 19th centuries.
The most important exhibits of the collection are:
A scene from a chariot race is shown on the shoulder. The main
metope on the belly of the vase includes a representation of five women bearing
hydriae near a fountain house, possibly the Enneakrounos, the famous fountain
in the Athenian Agora. Dated to ca. 530-520 B.C. Inv. no. 2499.
The vase was made by the potter Nicosthenes and dates from the
6th century B.C. The main representation on the body depicts Satyrs and Maenads
in orgiastic dance. The handles are covered with the figures of hoplites (warriors).
Inv. no. 2570.
of a seated young woman holding a lyre, possibly identified as
a Muse. It is a product of the Tanagraean workshop, dating from the 4th century
B.C. Inv. no. 1708.
of Alexander the Great.
Dated to the 2nd century A.D. Inv. no. 2497.
of the Virgin.
The icon is the work of the School of Constantinople, dated
to the 14th century A.D. Inv. no. 122.
of Aghia Paraskevi.
The icon is signed by Michael Damaskenos and dates
from the 16th century. Inv. no. 272.