In 1996 Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor bequeathed their home in Kardamyli to the Benaki Museum with the intention that the house’s ownership would be transferred to the Museum after their death. This particular choice had been suggested to them by their dear friend Tzannis Tzannetakis, an idea, wholeheartedly accepted given the important legacy of the Museum and Leigh Fermor’s old friendship with its founder Antonis Benakis and his daughter Irini Kalliga. In the donation contract, Leigh Fermor appointed Tzannis Tzannetakis and his lawyer Antonis Masouridis as supervisors for the fulfillment of the terms of the donation. The Museum acquired full ownership of the property after Leigh Fermor’s death in the autumn of 2011 and since then has been closely collaborating with Tzannetakis' children, Mrs. Tonia Tzannetakis and Mr. Petros Tzannetakis.
According to the expressed desire of the Leigh Fermors and the donation contract, the house can be used to host researchers who are looking for a quiet and hospitable place to work. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) approved the Benaki Museum’s request to fully cover the repair works at the House as well as the cost of the equipment, so that it can soon start operating as the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor Centre.
In order to cover the running expenses of the house, the Benaki Museum has the right to lease the property for 90 days per year. From 2020, the Museum will collaborate with Aria Hotels, a hotel company that specializes in the provision of authentic retreats in restored, historic Greek properties.
Furthermore, the property was donated in order to contribute to the Benaki Museum’s mission, in accordance with the decisions made by its Board of Trustees.