Τhe Cavafy Museum in Alexandria is set to be restored by the Onassis Foundation in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, which has been running and maintaining it since its 1992 launch.
The announcement was made on the 159th anniversary of the great Greek poet‘s birth, accompanied by an emotional video of the museum.
Underneath this video, a comment by The Onassis Foundation reads: “Can you imagine the small office where Constantine P. Cavafy wrote his poems? The balcony he dreamed of tomorrow and reminisced about yesterday? The neighborhood in which he walked in the center of Alexandria? His apartment on the former Lepsius Street?”
The Onassis Foundation acquired Cavafy’s archive 10 years ago and digitized the material according to the latest archiving methods, producing more than 2000 items from it freely accessible to all researchers and friends of the poet.
Its latest aspiration in support of the Alexandrian poet’s legacy is that the upcoming restoration will make the Cavafy museum in Alexandria a cultural pole for visitors from all over the world.
The Cavafy Museum in Alexandria holds several of Cavafy’s sketches and original manuscripts and contains several pictures and portraits of and by Cavafy.
It is located on Rue C.P. Cavafy 4, Attarin, Alexandria, and is open to visitors Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. The street was called Rue Lepsius in Cavafy’s time but has since been renamed Rue C.P. Cavafy in his honor.
Also known as Cavafy’s House, the museum is, in fact, located within the apartment where C.P. Cavafy lived the last 35 years of his life.
“Although there are other apartments in the building, we know that this specific apartment is the one Cavafy lived in, because it is the only apartment that has a balcony, and many sources mention the balcony in Cavafy’s house,” the Hellenic Foundation for Culture notes.
The interior has been meticulously recreated and is what it likely looked like in Cavafy’s days; the exhibits document the poet’s life and work.
The museum features many published books and papers on the author, including numerous translations in Greek, Arabic, English, and other 15 languages. Furthermore, there are more than 3,000 scholarly articles.
Cavafy’s house was established as a museum with the support of businessman G. Stratigakis and other cultural bodies at the initiative of Kostis Moskof, an energetic and charismatic man of letters and a poet and scholar who was appointed cultural attaché to the Greek Embassy in Cairo—a position he held until his death in 1998—in 1990.
The apartment was leased by The Cavafy International Committee in 1991 and opened to the public on November 16, 1992.
Moskof also supported the study of the poet through the Cavafia Conferences, held regularly with events in Cairo and Alexandria.