Museum of Cycladic Art Athens
A child holding a hare. Photograph: Why Athens | Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art


The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens showcases a fascinating collection gathered by the late shipping magnate Nicholas Goulandris and his wife Dolly. Expanding over four levels, the artworks give a detailed insight into the ancient civilisations of the Cycladic Islands.

The remnants of these ancient societies from 3200-2000BC, gives telling information on how ancient Greeks lived and is brought to life with the permanent audio-visual installation called Scenes from Daily Life in Antiquity, a big hit with kids. 

The real attractions, of course, are the Cycladic figurines found on the first floor. Their semi-abstract depictions of the human body inspired Cubist art and 20th-century artists like Picasso and Brancusi.

Museum of Cycladic Art Athens

Depictions of the human body during the Cycladic Period. Photograph: Why Athens | Museum of Cycladic Art

Two buildings house both the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions and are joined by a portico. Architecturally, they are in direct contrast to each other, with the first being built in 1986 and the second, which was acquired in 1991, is a neoclassical building built by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller.

Why Athens Tip: The Benaki, Byzantine and War Museums are all within walking distance.