The Museum of Cretan Ethnology consists of an exhibition complex and one Research and Congress Centre in a separate building, where all the remaining activities of the Museum take place: Research, Education, Congresses, Library, Designing Room, Sound Laboratories, Photography Laboratories, Conservation Laboratories, Scientific Laboratories, Archives and Storerooms.
The museum has a two-storey building of a total area of 500 m2 for the presentation of the exhibits and an extension to a neighboring traditional building complex of 300 m2 is being planned. The ethnological research of the museum and its exhibits cover the second millennium A.D. in Crete. In the first phase of the history of the island with its recovery by the Byzantines in 963 and their presence until 1205, the Cretan people enter the Greek Renaissance of the Middle Ages.
During the next 700 years of Venetian and Turkish rule, this people did not only resist cultural subjugation to the conquerors but creatively evolved through centuries preserving the models of the Empire. The Exhibition presents 3000 exhibits from all Crete and follows an ethnological classification of Man’s social activities: Nutrition, Architecture, Weaving, Arts – Trade, Transports, Manners and Customs, Social Organization.
The museological methodology of the Exhibition is that of G. H. Riviere, of Musee National des Arts et Traditions Populaires (ATP), in Paris. The exhibition was awarded a special prize in το 1992 in the framework of the European Museum of the Year Award by the European Museum Forum and the Council of Europe. The Museum of Cretan Ethnology was the 6th Greek Museum to receive a prize, since the establishment of the institution in 1977. The Foundation Museum of Cretan Ethnology is supervised by the Ministry of Culture and belongs to the Directorate of Folk Culture. The following Directors supported the foundation (in chronological order): Dimitris Kokkinos, Giorgos Ninos, Mary Michailidou, Theocharis Provatakis and Tetty Hatzinikolaou.
Author: H. Vallianos