The Focas-Cosmetatos Foundation is located in Argostoli, Kefalonia. It was established in 1984 with the endowment of the three brothers Spiridon, Kosmetos and Nikolaos Focas-Cosmetatos.The initial aims of the Foundation were: a) the conversion of the family house into a Museum displaying their personal collections and b) the publication of studies on Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands. Later, these aims were broadened so that the Foundation could meet modern needs and become a dynamic learning environment for the people, and especially the children, of Kefalonia.
Thus the Foundation has developed educational programmes, workshops, a children’s lending library, the founders’ archives of documents and photographs, and has published a number of books on Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands. Since 1998, it has also been developing Kefalonia Botanica, a garden of typical Mediterranean plants, as an open learning environment.
Each of the Foundation’s activities is independent, yet works in tandem with the others. For example, the children’s lending library becomes part of an educational programme about books; the books themselves are the source of information for several programmes; the coin collection forms the basis for a relevant educational programme etc.
The Foundation’s archives, which are at the disposal of every researcher, includes an important photographic record of Kefalonia before the earthquake of 1953, unpublished studies of local cultural and historical issues by the Cosmetatos brothers, and some private correspondence and family papers. The library of the Cosmetatos brothers, centered on the bibliography of the Ionian Islands and containing many rare books, has been donated to the Corgialenios Library. The diplomatic papers of Spiridon Focas-Cosmetatos were likewise donated to the Historical Archives of Kefalonia, a local branch of the State Archives.
The Focas-Cosmetatos Collections include furniture of the family dating from the beginning of the 20th century, lithographs by Joseph Cartwright (“Views in the Ionian Islands”), Edward Lear and Henry Cook, lithographs of traditional costumes of the Ionian Islands, portraits and paintings, as well as a collection of coins and banknotes circulating in the Ionian Islands during their long history.
In particular, the coin collection includes typical samples of the Athenian and Corinthian drachma, the Roman solidus, the Byzantine hyperpyron, the Venetian ducat, the Austrian thaler etc.
The banknotes of the collection are mainly Greek; among them, banknotes issued by the Ionian Bank, and “Ionian drachmas” of the Italian occupation.
In the shop, visitors may purchase the Foundation’s publications and other items.
The Collections are open to the public from May to October.
A ticket of 5 euros can be used to visit the museum as well as the Botanical Garden!
Please mention Kefalonia By Anna when you contact!
The Focas-Cosmetatos Foundation |
1 P. Vallianou, Argostoli, 281 00, Kefalonia, Greece