From the very first, the life work of Antonis Benakis met with the whole-hearted support of the Greek public. Well-known collectors, as well as all those who wished to see the past preserved, donated precious works of art to the Museum: family heirlooms, rare books, manuscripts and historical archives, and other important private possessions. In this way they helped to supplement the collections and to ensure the future of the Museum.
The individuals who have bequeathed considerable property to the Museum are in the front ranks of its benefactors; they include Konstantinos Benakis, Eleni Efkleidou, Regina Doanidou, Vera Kouloura, Ismini Petropoulou, Lambros Eftaxias, Alexandra Papadopoulou, Maria Aiyialeidi, Eumenis Lambridis, Fifi Stylianidou, Maria Spentsa, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas, Mary Carolou and Georgios Koniaris, Yiannis and Alekos Pappas, Alexandros Argyriou, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, as well as the Stamatios Dekozis-Vouros, J.F. Costopoulos and Stavros Niarchos Foundations, whose financial support has enabled the Museum to expand its exhibition space considerably.
Among the major donors are Alexandra Choremi, George Eumorfopoulos, Christianos Lambikis, Helen Stathatou, Damianos Kyriazis, Demetrios Sicilianos, Marina Lappa-Diomidous, Argini Salvagou, Rena Andreadi, Loukas Benakis, Voula Papaioannou, Stephen Vagliano, Peggy Zoumboulaki, Elli Seraidari (Nelly’s), Chrysoula Xanthoudidou-Koundourou, Sophia Chrysochoidou-Lambridi, Ioanna Loverdou-Vasileiadi, Litsa Papaspyrou, Maria Argyriadi, and countless others whose names are respectfully recorded on the labels accompanying the exhibits. Substantial benefactions have likewise been received from foundations bearing the names of: Eleftherios Venizelos, Panayotis and Effie Michelis, Alexandros S. Onassis, Lilian Voudouris, A.G. Leventis and John S. Latsis and from banking institutions such as Citibank, the National, Commercial and Ionian Banks, Ergobank, Alpha Bank and the Midland Bank.
The citing of these names in no way overshadows the contributions of many other donors who almost daily continue to enrich the Museum in a truly moving manner.
The activities of the ‘Friends of the Benaki Museum’ and of the Committee responsible for the production and marketing of articles sold through the Museum Shop constitute an important contribution to the Museum’s work.