Museum of Marble Crafts
The Museum of Marble Crafts, is located in Pirgos, on the island of Tinos. It was founded by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation and is the first of its kind in Greece. It aims to present the technology of marble, a material that holds a particular place in the architecture and art of Greece, , from antiquity through to the present. The permanent exhibition, puts an emphasis on the pre- and proto- industrial Tinos, the most important center of marble crafts in Modern Greece. At the same time, it highlights the social and economic context that the local workshops evolved in.
The collection includes authentic objects, such as secular, ecclesiastical, funerary and everyday objects made of marble, clay models, quarrying, cutting and carving tools, mechanical equipment, archival material as well as the richest collection of sketches of old marble carvings by master craftsmen, in Greece. Most of the authentic objects were gathered both of individuals and agencies that have donated or lent them to the Foundation. The exhibits are flanked by interconnected representations of a quarry, of a marble-craft workshop and the assembly/positioning of a bishop's throne. Visitors with the use of audiovisual material can learn about the traditional work methods of the quarryman and the marble craftsman. The exhibition also presents the historical trajectory of marble carving and sculpting in Tinos, as well as the contribution of Tinian marble craftsmen to the construction of Athens and other towns in the 19th century. The exhibition extends into the museum's outdoor areas with various exhibits of historical mechanical equipment, including a hoisting machine, a trolley for the transportation of marble blocks and a wagon-truck for rubble and chippings.
Young visitors have the opportunity to see large marble rocks in their natural state, feel the texture, observe the color of the crystals with the use of a magnifying glass and acquaint themselves in a live manner with the itinerary from the raw material to the finished work.