Andrew Cohen, associate professor of journalism and international affairs in Carleton University in Ottawa, lauded the way Greek museums operate and their available hours, in an article in the newspaper Ottawa Citizen.
The title of the long article is Canada’s Museums Could Learn From Greece and Cohen refers positively to all Greek museums and particularly at the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
The article noted that despite Greece’s financial crisis that the museum is open 12 hours a day six days a week and 6 1/2 hours on the seventh day. The history of prehistoric Macedonia through the era of Alexander the Great is presented there.
According to the article, Greeks take pride in their past and present it with style and care in this museum, in the country’s second-largest city, that used to be inhabited by large populations of Jews, Muslims and Christians.
Cohen refers to other museums in Thessaloniki as well, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Jewish Museum and the War Museum of Thessaloniki. He also mentions the Acropolis Museum in Athens that opened in 2009 near the Parthenon, which he characterizes as spectacular.
In the hard times of financial crisis that Greece is going through, the country finds the money to endure and even expand the museums’ function, as it happens in other European countries. The author says the reason is simple; in societies mindful of their past, culture is seen as necessity, not a luxury. It is a responsibility. It is a public good.
At the end of his article, Cohen encourages the Canadian government to follow Greece’s model concerning the reinforcement of the country’s museums that lag behind the Greek museums.