Founding

The Kazantzakis Museum pays tribute to the important intellectual, author, thinker, philosopher, politician and traveler Nikos Kazantzakis.

The Museum is made up of a cluster of buildings in the central square of the historical village of Varvari, now known as Myrtia. The Museum Exhibition is housed on a site formerly occupied by the home of the Anemoyannis family, which was related to Nikos Kazantzakis' father, Kapetan Michalis.

The Museum was founded in 1983 by set and costume designer Yiorgos Anemoyannis, a pioneering figure in Greek theatre. His fundamental aim was to preserve the author's memory and promote his work and thought. Significant assistance was offered by Eleni Kazantzaki, the author's second wife.

The museum opening ceremony was held on 27th June 1983. 

Legal Status

The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum Foundation is a non-profit private entity supervised by the Ministry of Finance and the Decentralized Administration of Crete. Ιts charter gained state legal status under Government Presidential Decree of 2nd March 1984.

Human resources

The founder

Yiorgos Anemoyannis was born in Heraklion, Crete on the 15th of December 1916. He was a pioneer set designer and, during his 60-year long career in the art sector, he worked with the most prominent figures of Greek theatre in all genres: comedy, prose, variety show, boulevard, tragedy, opera.

One of his biggest accomplishments was the foundation of Nikos Kazantzakis Museum.

He was the one who conceived, envisaged and created this unique museum in memory of Nikos Kazantzakis. Until the end of his life, he worked tirelessly, with the support of Kazantzakis’ second wife, Eleni, to collect the manuscripts, publications and personal items that form the Museum’s exhibition material. Even if he had never had relevant studies, he organised and classified the great volume of material that currently makes up the Museum’s exhibits like an experienced museologist. He was a keen supporter of Kazantzakis’ work and philosophy, as well as one of the founding members and avid supporters of the International Association of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis.

Yiorgos Anemoyannis died in Athens on the 19th of October 2005. 

More information about the Museum’s founder is available on: www.anemoyannis.gr

Governing Board

The Foundation is managed by a seven-member governing board consisting of:

Michalis TAROUDAKIS, professor at the University of Crete (President), 

Lefteris CHARONITIS, film director,  (Vice President), 

Marilena MILATHIANAKI, teacher (Secretary General), 

Haris TSAKOUNTAKIS, president of the Local Council, Municipal Ward of Myrtia (Treasurer), 

Manolis KOKOSALIS, mayor, Municipality of Archanon-Asterousion (member),

Stefanos TRACHANAS, director of the Crete University Press (member),

Michalis Koukakis, ex Ambassador of Greece (member).


Director: Varvara TSAKA

Permanent Exhibition – Communication: Efi KEFALAKI

Department of Education: Alexandra MARAVELIA

Archives – Library: Voula VASILIADI

Museum Shop – E-shop: Roula DOUNI

Museum Café: Andreas GONIANAKIS