MINERALOGY AND PETROLOGY MUSEUM

The original collections of the Mineralogy and Petrology Museum were created at the Natural History Society that was established in Athens in 1835. The University acquired the collections in 1837. The University Museum of Mineralogy-Petrography was created in 1908. It has been part of the Geology Department since 1982.

Until 1979, the Museum was housed in the building located on Akadimias St, which is known today as the Kostis Palamas University Building. At that time the collections were transferred to University campus, where they were stored until 1996. In an effort to repair the 19th-century wooden display cases, the collections suffered severe damage. Between 1997 and 1999, the samples were identified and re-classified according to the modern classification system, so that the Museum could open again. This task was undertaken by Professor A. Katerinopoulos, under the supervision of Professor K. Sideris, then chairman of the Geology Department.

The Museum reopened officially on 7 February 2000.

It is not only the oldest collection of minerals and rocks in Greece, but it is also one of international repute. The importance of the collection does not reside solely in the presentation of particularly beautiful samples, but in the abundance and quality of the minerals from “classical” sites in former states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the German Empire and Tsarist Russia, primarily from sites which have today been exhausted and are known only from the literature.

The Museum occupies a total area of about 1100 m2. The collections are exhibited in the three halls, while the fourth hall is for audio-visual presentations and lectures.

The first hall is ornamented with seven modern crystal cases, in which mineral samples of high aesthetic value are presented, some of which are among the most beautiful of their kind.

In the second hall, three built-in display cases, samples and explanatory texts are presented to enable the viewer to understand the concepts of minerals, rocks, ores and industrial minerals.

Minerals and rocks from different sites of Greece in three more built-in display cases, accompanied by informative texts, highlight the mineral wealth of Greece.

Another case contains reference to the various types of meteorites. Tektites and stone-meteorites are presented as well as an iron meteorite found in Argentina.

Aesthetic mineral collection displayed in seven self-luminous show-windows

Display cases of a teaching nature, the color variety of the minerals and mineral sites in Greece

A new case presenting the human body and the percentage of the contained major and trace elements in relation to rocks and minerals hosting these elements, implies the inseparable link between the living world, the environment and the world of minerals. In addition to this perspective of public awareness for the environment, the critical issue of water reserves on earth is emphasized and presented through a 3D model of a glacier and its remarkably rapid melting over one hundred years.

On the eastern side of the hall the fascinating complexity and plasticity of earth structure is presented through a show case where rock samples of great scientific interest, dredged from about 3000m depth of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, were donated to the museum collection. A complete dataset of the scientific mission including videos from sampling and informative posters are also displayed.

Finally a darkened room has been set up to display the luminescence of minerals. This is one of the largest collections in Europe, which demonstrates the fluorescence and phosphorescence of minerals by using ultraviolet lamps with different wavelengths.

In the third hall, the visitor encounters the heavy wooden display cases of the 19th century. The walls are covered by high upright cases, while inside the hall there are low cases in which the systematic collection is hosted. The decoration of this hall is fully in harmony with the Museum’s exhibits, most of which can be dated from the 19th century.

At the entrance of the third hall, there are two impressive samples of rock crystal and amethyst, displayed in special cases.

The centre of the third hall is dominated by five display cases containing sculptured creations from minerals and rocks, precious stones, copies of seal stones from different periods, and their imprints on pure silver, while the fifth case contains a unique 75 cm sample of smoky quartz in the form of a sceptre.

 

Display windows of the 19th century hosting the systematic collections of rocks and minerals. In the centre, four outstanding self-luminous cases comprising gems and ornaments made of precious stones.

Contact

Director: Prof. A. Katerinopoulos, Tel.: +30-210-7274124,

email: akaterin@geol.uoa.gr

Address: Department of Geology and Geoenvironment, Panepistimioupoli Campus Zografou, 15784 Athens

Tel.: +30  2107274112, +30 2107274180 (museum)

Fax: +30 210 7274883

e-mail :mineralmuseum@geol.uoa.gr

Website http://museums.geol.uoa.gr/mineralogy/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MineralogyAndPetrologyMuseum

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