Numismatic Museum of Athens

Athens, Greece

Numismatic Museum of Athens

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The Numismatic Museum of Athens (Greek: Νομισματικό Μουσείο Αθηνών) is one of the most important museums in Greece and it houses a collection of over 500,000 coins, medals, gems, weights, stamps and related artefacts from 1400BC to modern times. The collection constitutes one of the richest in the world, paralleled by those of the British Museum in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Bode Museum in Berlin, and the American Numismatic Society in New York. The museum itself is housed in the mansion of the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, formally known as Iliou Melathron (Greek: Ιλίου Μέλαθρον, "Palace of Ilion").

The first attempts at coin collecting by the state began shortly after the independence of Greece in Aegina. The collection was enriched after excavations, purchases and donations. The museum was founded in 1838, around the same era with the National Archaeological Museum, but it was not until many years after and several decrees that it became an independent organization. Initially, the collection was a part of the National Library of Greece and was housed at the main building of the University of Athens and later at the building of the Academy of Athens where the collection was first exhibited. In 1946, the collection was moved to the National Archaeological Museum. The organization of the museum became twice independent, in 1893 and 1965.

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