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Aphrodite of Milos  

Folk and Historic Museum of Milos

From the old… 

In 1967 the Melian Association in Athens decides to establish the Folk and Historic Museum of Milos. Zafiris Vaos, a Melian folklorist, undertakes to set up a collection and stage an exhibition. He aims at presenting “the Melian house of the 19th century”. Setting the example himself, he invites his fellow-islanders to donate family heirlooms to the museum.

In time the collection is enriched, but the objects get crammed in the existing space, the exhibitional view of Z. Vaos is no longer clearly perceptible. The need to rearrange the exhibits and conserve the objects becomes an imperative.

Folk and Historic Museum of Milos, Milos

Folk and Historic Museum of Milos, Milos

… to the new Museum

A team consisting of museologists, an architect and art conservators undertakes the re-exhibition project. The team aims at presenting aspects of the islands’ social, economical and cultural life at the turn of the 20th century. In keeping with the spirit of the old exhibition, selected objects from the collection are presented in the rooms of the house according to their use. The objects are enhanced by concise texts and visual material.

The point is not to represent exactly a specific Melian house type. Starting from often heterogeneous objects, we attempt to shed light on aspects of the inhabitants’ lives: their indoor and outdoor activities, foreign influences, their dietary and clothing preferences, their entertainment, their relation to nature. We aspire to offer stimuli from a way of life different from our own, as to the space arrangement, the time management and the local resources exploitation.

Folk and Historic Museum of Milos, Milos

Reception room, the mirror of the family
The reception room was the central and more spacious room in the house that, in contrast to the auxiliary areas, was especially trim; the furniture, lamps, tapestries, carpets, embroideries and other articles adorning the room reflected the social and economical status of the family.
The loom room supports home economics
The loom and its paraphernalia, the cushion and the bobbins for making lace, and the sewing machine had their place in every household. Casual and formal clothes for the family were made in the loom room.

In the Kitchen the fire is burning
The kitchen also serves as a storeroom, a workroom and the place of everyday gathering. Central position in this simple room occupies the fireplace with its chimney, where the cooking fire burns and the coals for the heating of the house and the ironing of the clothes are prepared.
Bedroom the cradle of the family
The use of every room in a house is determined by the needs of the residents. At the turn of the 20th century the need for individual sleeping rooms has not yet arisen, privacy being a notion unknown to the majority of Melians. Therefore, there is only one bedroom in the house, the “kamara”, intended for the married couple.

Folk and Historic Museum of Milos, Milos

The winepress room and its multiple functions
The winepress room is also a storeroom, sometimes even a bedroom. Built of whitewash and porcelain clay, it is the only place in the house where mice cannot nest. The winepress room fulfills its main function during the “vedema”, the crushing of the grapes.
(Excerpt from the Museum’s brochure; published herein under special permission)

Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 & 18:30-21:30
Su 10:00-14:00

Admission 3€
Students & Children 1.5€

tel. 22870-21292
Plaka, Milos



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