Svenska Institutet i Athens

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The Svenska Institutet i Athens ( Greek Σουηδικό Ινστιτούτο Αθηνών ) is one of 17 foreign archaeological institutes in Greece , all of which have their headquarters in Athens .


The Svenska Institutet i Athens was opened on May 10, 1948 as the seventh foreign institute, but its establishment was based on a decision of April 26, 1946. The initiative for this came from two business people: Herbert Jacobsson, chairman of the supervisory board of the Swedish Orient Line, and the consul general Eugenios Eugenides, who also represented the line in Greece. Together with Axel Boëthius from Gothenburg they made contact with the initiator of the Swedish excavation in Asine , Crown Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden . This first establishment of a foreign institute since the First World War occurred precisely at the time of the Greek Civil War . For these reasons, the house at Voukourestiou 29, in which the institute was to be housed, was not completed until 1949. That Sweden could open up at all during the Civil War, the Institute in Athens, was due to the very positive role that neutral Sweden and its operating in the country archaeologists and scholars of antiquity played during the German occupation 1941-1944. They distributed the International Red Cross relief delivery to the population. Especially Axel W. Persson , the head of the excavations in Asine, stood out here.

The institute, which was founded on a private initiative, received government grants for the first time in 1959, and in 1966 the first scholarship was established. In 1976 the institute moved into a neoclassical building at Mitseon 9, where it is still housed today. The post of Second Director was established in 1987, but has only been regularly included in the budget plan since 1997. 90 percent of the budget is now borne by the Swedish state, the rest is financed by private foundations. All research must be privately financed and used by external donors.


The institute's task is to research ancient Greek culture , provide training in this area for the further development of Swedish culture and promote cultural exchange between Sweden and Greece.

The institute awards five scholarships each year to Swedish students of Classical Archeology in their fourth semester. The aim is to study all related aspects of ancient life in Greece. The scholarship is associated with extensive trips to Greece, visits to museums and participation in archaeological excavations.

The further training of teachers who teach in the relevant subject area is also one of the tasks of the institute.

It organizes meetings between Swedish and Greek artists, holds symposiums for translators, sculptors and other artists, and literary and poetic readings. For this purpose, the institute operates its own guest house in Kavalla , which the Greek architect Panagiotis Manouilidis (1894–1977) designed in the Bauhaus style for the Swedish tobacco monopoly ( Svenska Tobaks AB ) in the 1930s. In 1976, after it had increasingly lost its function for the Swedish tobacco monopoly since the end of the Second World War , the building was donated to the Swedish Institute.

Institutions and research

Together with the archaeological institutes of the Danes, Norwegians and Finns, the institute runs the Nordic Library at Athens , which was founded in 1996 and comprises around 40,000 volumes on Greek archeology and ancient history .

Excavations and surveys are currently being carried out in Aphidnai , Asine, in the Arcadian Agios Elias, in the Argive Berbati, in Chania , in Dendra , in Kalaureia and other sites.


Together with the Roman Institute, the Svenska Institutet i Rom , the Opuscula are now held annually . Annual of the Swedish Institutes in Athens and Rome , first published in 1953. Since 1951, two series of different formats have been published irregularly as monographs or compilations on specific topics, including congress reports: the Acta Instituti Atheniensis Regni Sueciae. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Institutet i Athens . All publications are devoted to topics from classical archeology, ancient history or Greek philosophy . All contributions go through a peer review .

List of directors


  • Elena Korka (Ed.): Foreign Archaeological Schools in Greece: 160 Years . Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens 2005, pp. 144–151.

Web links


  1. ^ A historical overview. Retrieved September 27, 2019 .