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The Museum of Alonissos and the "unknown" Costas Mavrikis

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A tribute to the life and unknown work of the recently awarded by the Academy of Athens, Costa Mavriki
Costas Mavrikis, author and founder of the Alonissos Museum, lives and works in Alonissos. He is married to Aggeliki Agallou and they have three children.
He was born and raised in Steni Vala by a family of fishermen from Ikaria. From an early age he was involved in spearfishing and diving with his father. They were the first to discover the unique shipwrecks of Peristera in the world. They declared them with great persistence and showed them against the indifference of the state. Today they are in the final stages of functioning as underwater museums, but nothing would have happened if it were not for the obsession of these two. With the same persistence he began to collect objects from the sea but also from the land.
At a young age he decided to build his own museum. When in the golden decade of 2000, everyone was building rooms, he against the times built the building, where he would house his collections. At first no one believed him, because such a thing sounded completely utopian. But he continued stubbornly, wanting to make his dream come true. In 2000 he built the first floor with a lot of hard work and in the next 8 years the other 3 floors.
Today, after 18 years of operation, the 900 sq.m. building is no longer enough to house the collections of 40,000 objects, which were collected with passion and passion by Costas Mavrikis. The stone-built building of the museum dominates the port of Patitiri. The visitor is impressed by its simple architecture but also by its interior, as no one expects a museum of this level on such a small island.
The museum has many sections. The basement is the folklore. It is arranged like a small village with small houses that host lost professions. On the first floor there is the naval section with Alonissos from the 17th to the 19th century. Here are the sailors' uniforms, their weapons and the items they had on their boats, as well as items that they brought back to their island to decorate their homes. In the same place there are their wives with the appropriate costumes and their personal belongings.
On the second floor there is the amazing pirate section, which depicts pirate activity on the island of Alonissos. The island was also called Kleptofoleai or Diavolonisia for many years due to its strong pirate presence. It was located in the middle of a timeless naval hub. This explains the many shipwrecks. In the shop windows of this section the visitor travels to another era. There are so many items that will take a lot of daydreaming.
The military section of the museum is housed on the same floor. Here the warlike virtue of the Greeks in the modern wars, in which our ancestors took part, is strongly seen. The building also has a multi-event space, where many exhibitions, mainly of young artists, speeches and small conferences took place. The museum is a center of living culture and not an icy space with inanimate objects.
On the top floor is the small cafe with endless discussions and offices that coordinate its organization. It is home to the Friends of the Museum Association, which supports it morally and through volunteer work. The archives of the museum are also kept here. Costas Mavrikis managed to collect an amazing archive of 63,000 digital photographs from the Northern Sporades, as well as a huge volume of documents from 1700 to the present day (the archive includes about 30,000 documents). He is so fanatical about rescuing objects and items that he alone has managed to save a very important part of the history of the Northern Sporades.
Costas Mavrikis has written 12 books concerning the area of ​​the islands in different eras and has created the Archive of Studies of Alonissos and Deserts with 3 editions. When someone asks him why he does not promote all this, he always answers with stoicism and humility that he did everything out of love for the island and its inhabitants and to fill the cultural gaps that existed.

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Day trip Skiathos National Park

But the time has come for his work to be recognized. First, a major Oxford foundation chose to have his shipwrecked book translated and promoted abroad. Then, a few days ago, he was awarded by the Academy of Athens for his contribution to the preservation of local history and cultural heritage. Some people of spirit understood the value of a tireless cultural worker on a small Aegean island and honored him. And with him they honored all of Thessaly. Thus was recognized the work of a simple and stoic man who has carried on his back the culture of an entire island and manages for years to stand silently behind the lights and leave his own trace of civilization.
He speaks with special emotion about the specific award and the participation of sixty people who traveled from the region of Thessaly to Athens to honor him at the award at a meal offered to him by his friends from Volos, Dimitris and Loukia Iliopoulou.
In closing, I would like to congratulate Costas Mavrikis for his great award but also to express my gratitude not only to myself but also to our fellow citizens for what he has offered in our country, as with this award he was honored not only for his work but the whole of Alonissos !!!

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