Haridimos Shadow Puppet Museum - Theatre


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  • Address: Melina Cultural Centre, 66 Iraklidon & Thessalonikis sts, Thissio
  • Train stop: Thissio
  • Tel: 210 3452150, 210 3414466
  • Opening hours: 9:00-13:00 and 17:00-21:00, except Mondays and Sunday afternoons


The Karagiozis shadow puppet theatre is back in Thissio. Karagiozis and his friends now have a permanent home in the City of Athens Melina Cultural Centre. Following a donation of materials by Sotiris Haridimos, the City of Athens Cultural Organisation created the Haridimos Shadow Puppet Museum - Theatre and Workshop, which hosts three generations of the Haridimos family and a tradition dating back to 1913.


Three generations of the Haridimos family

Christos Haridimos (1895-1970) began his career in 1913 at Kyriakou Square (the present-day Victoria Square) and remained the "Dean" of the Piraeus shadow puppet masters up until his retirement in 1950.


His son Yiorgos Haridimos (1924-1996) followed in his father's artistic footsteps. He began his career in 1942 and by the time he retired in 1988, he had staged 7,000 performances.


Sotiris Haridimos (born in 1941), the family's youngest son, grew up in the dream-like but tough environment of the Karagiozis characters created by his father and brother. After his retirement, he kept the family legacy alive by devoting himself entirely to the Shadow Theatre through exhibitions and participation in cultural events, and City of Athens Cultural Organisation Folk Art Education programmes involving the construction of puppet figures and sets.


The Haridimos Shadow Puppet Museum - Theatre and Workshop

The museum features some 900 exhibits, works by Christos, Yiorgos and Sotiris Haridimos, as well as projects by students who have taken puppet figure construction courses offered as part of the City of Athens Cultural Organisation Folk Art Education programme, at the Agios Thomas Regional Cultural Centre in Ambelokipi.


The exhibition features professional puppet figure and set designs on paper dating from 1925 through 1955, sets made with cardboard, transparent sheets, leather or gelatine (1925 - 1980), as well as sets drawn on cloth. It also includes engraved pre-war puppet figures created with cardboard as well as figures made with leather or gelatine (1965 - 2000).


The museum hosts tools used by the Haridimos family for the construction of puppet figures and items used by shadow puppet masters (chisels, scissors, noisemakers, bells, springs, etc). It includes 80 (eighty) books with Karagiozis Shadow Puppet Theatre performances illustrated by Sotiris Haridimos as well as 20 framed images from the "Mythology and Karagiozis" (1993) series.


Eighty-nine book titles, brochures, magazines, numerous news clippings, postcards, 133 photographs and a wealth of audiovisual material are included in the collection.


The permanent Shadow Theatre, where performances are staged under the artistic direction of Sotiris Haridimos and Christos S. Haritos, completes the museum. Also, in spring and autumn two weeks of Shadow Theatre festivities are staged, with the participation of shadow puppet masters and other artists.


Christos S. Haritos (Haridimos) serves as the curator of the Shadow Puppet Museum - Theatre and is responsible for maintaining the works.


Folk Art Education - educational programmes

Lectures and seminars on Greek and international Shadow Theatre are held on the museum's premises. Also, Sotiris Haridimos and his colleagues run a puppet figure and tool workshop for people of all ages within the framework of the City of Athens Cultural Organisation's Folk Art Education programme.



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63A Athinas St, Kotzia Square, Athens 10552, Greece
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