• Works of art and other objects dating to all periods, which originate in the wider Greek world.
• Objects created by other cultures which flourished in the regions bordering the Greek world and which offer comparisons with contemporary Greek artistic activity, such as works of Islamic art and items imported from the East and West for use in a Greek setting.
• Paintings, drawings and prints by European and Greek artists that depict Greek themes.
• Historic heirlooms, archives, documents and historic photographs.
• Photographic archives and important photographs.
• Archival collections and documents relating to the history of Greek architecture and the work of Greek architects.
• Coins and medals.
• Games, garments, and everyday objects used by infants and children.
• Urban garments characteristic of different periods of modern Greek history.
• Important works by well-known Greek artists.
• Rare publications, books and periodicals.
• Entire collections which do not fit into the above categories, such as the personal collections of N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika or the collection of Chinese pottery assembled by George Eumorphopoulos.
All objects, however humble they may appear to their present owner, may be of interest to the Benaki Museum. After being presented to the Museum, the items are carefully catalogued, treated in the relevant conservation laboratory, protected from further deterioration, and made available for academic research.
Each object which is donated to the Benaki Museum is identified in descriptions as "The Gift of..." or bears the designation "Acquired with the support of...". All objects are acknowledged as such whether in the Museum’s permanent exhibition, in temporary exhibitions in Greece or abroad, or in Greek or foreign publications.
Donations made in the name of others
Any gift to the Benaki Museum may be described as having been donated in memory, honour, or recognition of the generosity of a given individual or group of individuals. Objects which are donated or acquired in this way are described as "The gift of ..." with the additional designation "In memory/honour/recognition of the generosity of..." when they form part of the permanent exhibit of the Museum, when they are included in temporary exhibitions set up by third parties in Greece or abroad, and when they appear in Greek or foreign publications.
Donations made by individuals during their lifetime
In certain cases the Benaki Museum accepts gifts of objects which remain in the possession of the donor during his or her lifetime. The objects come into the possession of the Museum only after the death of the donor, his heirs, or at any other time specified by the donor. The Museum retains copyright of the object from the day it is donated, as well as the right to borrow it on a temporary basis for the purpose of exhibiting it in the Museum or in temporary exhibitions organised in Greece or abroad. The object will be insured by the Benaki Museum or the borrowing party before it leaves the possession of the donor. When included in a publication or exhibition, the object donated under the above conditions shall be described in the same fashion as objects which form part of the permanent collection of the Museum, namely as "The gift of ...".
Objects on deposit with the Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum agrees to accept objects on deposit when the owner of the object wishes to do so for reasons of security or in order to make the object accessible to the general public.
The deposit may be made on a permanent basis, or for a limited amount or unspecified period of time, after which it is returned to the owner.
The Benaki Museum may request that the object is insured before it is presented to the Museum.
The Benaki Museum retains the copyright of the object for as long as it remains on deposit. Also, having obtained the owner's permission, it may lend the object for temporary exhibition to other museums in Greece or abroad. In this case the borrowing party is responsible for insuring the object, as is the case with items from the permanent collection of the Museum.
In publications and exhibitions of the object, its owner will be designated in a fashion agreed between him and the Benaki Museum, for example as "Benaki Museum, Deposit of ... " or "Benaki Museum, Anonymous deposit".