ABOUT THE PROJECT >
Hotel Photographer Mani_
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.
Benaki Museum | Patrick Leigh Fermor House in Kardamili
The property is located in the Kalamitsi area of Messinia, very close to Kardamyli. The three discrete low stone buildings, were designed by the architect Nikos Hatzimichalis in close collaboration with the Leigh Fermors and were completed in the mid 60s. Scattered in a beautiful Mediterranean garden with cypresses, olive trees, shrubs and wild flowers, it is, by general consensus, one of the most beautiful properties in Greece. Just below the house, a narrow path with stone steps leads to a small pebble beach.
According to the donation contract, the Leigh Fermors granted the Benaki Museum the right to rent the property for 90 days per year in order to secure part of the operational expenses of the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor Centre. The Benaki Museum will collaborate with Aria Hotels, for the three month rental period. Under the alliance the museum will ensure the preservation of the house and its contents, and enable members of the public to have access to the property, while Aria Hotels has pledged that it will undertake operation of the property during the rental period with particular sensitivity to its unique legacy. The Benaki Museum – Aria Hotels partnership will be launched in 2020. (Press release).
You can find out more about this house at Benaki’s Museum official page and see photos of the inauguration by the President of Greece and the Prime Minister here