The Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation, the first Contemporary Art Museum in Greece, was inaugurated on July 28, 1979 in Chora Andros, birthplace of the founder Basil P. Goulandris.

The motivation for the construction of the Museum was the need to house and present the works by Andriot sculptor Michalis Tombros, which he had bequeathed to his hometown. This initial core of works was gradually enriched with works from the private collection of Basil and Elise Goulandris, while the positive reverberations from this effort and the increasing numbers of visitors and interest from audiences led the Museum to a further expansion.

The New Wing of the Museum of Contemporary Art was inaugurated on 20 July 1986. The wish of its founders was the creation of a small Museum of Contemporary Art, equipped with the most modern museum specifications in order to be able to hold internationally acclaimed exhibitions. The design of the exterior spaces was based on an axis of respect towards the surrounding natural and architectural landscape but also of its nature as a work of art with an active role. Preferred building materials included marble and stone, in colour harmony with the island, receiving a distinction at "The International Garden and Greenery Exposition" in Osaka, Japan, for its harmonious incorporation in its surroundings.

Already in 1987, the Museum of Contemporary Art hosted its first internationally acclaimed exhibition in the then New Wing. Over the following years came internationally commended exhibitions of works by artists who had left their mark on the 19th and 20th centuries including Matisse, Kandinsky, Balthus, Giacometti, Klee, Chagall, de Chirico, Rodin, Picasso, Braque, Mirό, Toulouse-Lautrec and others.

The main aim of the Museum is to continue to offer its own creative contribution to contemporary artistic concerns and, within the framework of international artistic activities and aesthetic edification, contribute to the promotion of both Greek and international modern and contemporary art.

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