Impact Study Results 2017–2022 - Εικόνα
18 November 2022

Since August 2016, when it first opened its doors to the public, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) has established itself as a landmark of contemporary Athens, a pioneering hub of culture and sustainability hosting three institutions that play important roles in society: the National Library of Greece (NLG), the Greek National Opera (GNO), and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Single Member S.A. At the same time, it has served as a model of successful collaboration between the public and private sectors in Greece. Its completion was achieved through collaboration between four Ministries—across six different Administrations—and, of course, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), whose single largest grant to date made possible its creation. Since the conception of the idea for the creation of the SNFCC, SNF has provided a total of $750 million (€618 million) in grants. The lion’s share of this went toward construction, but it has also supported operating costs, the organization of open events, additional programs to support the SNFCC project, and infrastructure projects beyond the original design, such as the Delta restaurant, which has earned two MICHELIN stars and a MICHELIN Green Star for Sustainable Gastronomy. Furthermore, SNF actively supported the individual constituent organizations in the transition to their new home at the SNFCC.

In February 2017, the SNFCC was handed over to the Greek state and given to the people of Greece. Since then, it has welcomed more than 21 million visitors from every corner of Greece and the world, realizing its guiding vision of public space that is open and accessible to all.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, “Five years have passed since the Greek State welcomed the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, and everyone can see its two-fold positive impact. On the one hand, it acts as a dynamic pillar of national development and social contribution. But, at the same time, it emits an innovative educational and cultural radiance. It is a shining example of public-private partnership, with social progress as its foundation and environmental protection as its guiding principle. A joint effort, which ultimately becomes a national contribution. Always remaining grateful towards the donor, I wholeheartedly wish the employees and staff of the Cultural Center even greater success in the future, for the good of the SNFCC, of society and Greece in general.”

In 2022, five years after the SNFCC was handed over to the Greek state by SNF, it was decided to create an updated version of the impact study SNF commissioned from Boston Consulting Group in 2016 upon the imminent completion of the project. SNFCC Single Member S.A., in collaboration with the NLG, the GNO, and Boston Consulting Group, re-studied the main axes of the project and focused on the SNFCC as a landmark of modern Athens and a model of environmental sustainability, its cultural and educational footprint, and its economic impact.

SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos said, “The SNFCC Impact Study confirms what every visitor feels on any given day there: that people of every age, nationality, socioeconomic background, and kind have embraced it, have made it their own, each in their own way. For our part, we believe that our vision of creating a quality public space that is open and accessible to all has been largely fulfilled. Six years after its delivery to the Greek state, we continue to support it, to the extent of our capabilities, so that it continues to evolve and remains a first-rate international destination. This project belongs to everyone. We must all—each of us weighing our own responsibilities—join our forces, whatever they may be, so that the SNFCC remains a fully accessible, high-quality, and safe public space and has the resources necessary to continue on its creative course. We expect that the example of the successful partnership between the private and public sectors for the creation of the SNFCC can continue to serve as a model for Greek society at large.”

The most important findings of the SNFCC 2022 Impact Study may be summarized as follows:

Landmark of modern-day Athens

As a new metropolitan venue for international events, the SNFCC contributes to the country’s global visibility, receiving very positive reviews in international media. At the same time, it offers a new tourist destination beyond the center of Athens, ranking third in the cultural preferences of foreign visitors, right after the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, according to a survey conducted by the Athens International Airport, thus enhancing the image and prestige of the Athenian Riviera and boosting the experience of visiting the Greek capital.

Cultural and educational footprint

During the first five years of the SNFCC’s operation, more than 5,200 cultural and educational events and 13,000 sporting events took place, attracting more than 1,000,000 people. Of these, 99,4% were free of charge, thanks to the exclusive grant by the SNF.

The cultural and educational footprint of the SNFCC is amplified by its School Programs, which have brought about more than 6,500 school visits from across the country involving more than 387,000 students. In addition, 1,170 teachers from all over Greece and from Greek schools abroad have enrolled in the SNFCC Class digital training platform, which was launched during the pandemic, and another 1,550 teachers have participated in online seminars. Sustainability plays a leading role in the design and implementation of the SNFCC’s School Programs, since our primary objective is to raise awareness of environmental issues among the younger generation. 

During its first five years of operation at the SNFCC — from 2017 up to and including 2021 — the Greek National Opera staged more than 200 productions of opera, ballet, operetta, and musical theater, which attracted more than 700,000 spectators. Upon its relocation to the SNFCC, and in addition to its main program that is staged at the Stavros Niarchos Hall, the Greek National Opera created an additional stage, its so-called Alternative Stage, which was instituted thanks to a founding grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Boasting a discernible artistic identity and under the leadership of Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis, the only opera house of the country developed co-productions with major opera houses and festivals across Europe; presented new ambitious productions involving leading Greek and foreign artists; commissioned Greek composers to create new works; focused on cross-disciplinary projects in collaboration with visual artists and film experts; created GNO TV to stream its work online around the globe; and carried out dozens of educational and social programs.

The GNO has systematically worked on expanding its artistic reach abroad, with its extroversion being widely recognized by leading foreign media. For example, Le Figaro recently reported that: “Athens is setting sail for the opera of the future. It is totally worth traveling to Greece for the GNO: great directors, ballet, new works of musical theater. The Greek National Opera has already joined the club of the world’s leading opera houses.”

The GNO is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The GNO is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the enhancement of its artistic outreach.

Since its relocation to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in 2017, the National Library of Greece has reinforced its role as a model of inclusion, providing free access to its services to people from all cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds, as well as to people with disabilities, maintaining four workstations for people with physical disabilities and the necessary braille-enabling equipment, while a specially adapted e-book online infrastructure for its collections is underway.

The NLG has added some 80,000 new volumes to its collection, while its newly established lending department, despite the unfavorable period of the pandemic, has carried out close to 372,000 lending-outs.

Moreover, the National Library now hosts events of international caliber, thus contributing to enhancing the image of Greece abroad (CDNL, social event of the 2019 IFLA Congress). In addition, it has staged more than 150 events and 8 exhibitions since 2017, hosted more than 16,000 participants in guided tours, and been implementing educational programs throughout the year, both on its premises and in co-operation with the Greek Libraries Network (240 libraries and more than 244,000 children aged 4–14 in 13,000 workshops across the country).

Now more recognizable among the broader public, it is becoming the recipient of more donations of rare material and valuable archives from private collections, while its impact on social media is also deemed quite noteworthy. Even more impressive is the extensive use of the NLG's new digital services, such as the electronic reading room (71,000 downloads, 21,000 users), which boosted the development of the e-book market in the country.

Model of environmental sustainability / Improvement of the local community’s quality of life

Internationally recognized as a Green Building, the SNFCC is a global model of environmental sustainability and the first large-scale cultural project with a LEED Platinum certification in Europe. At the heart of the SNFCC lies Stavros Niarchos Park, one of the largest green spaces in Athens (it covers an area of about 52 acres), which constitutes the world’s largest public Mediterranean garden.

With regard to the local community, the SNFCC also contributed to the improvement of the residents’ quality of life in environmental terms, doubling the green space per person in the wider region. Furthermore, in the organization’s ongoing effort to reduce its environmental footprint, 100% of the power consumed comes from renewable energy sources, with about 24% being sourced from the 5,700 solar panels on the top of the Energy Canopy.

Contribution to the Greek economy

Last but not least, the SNFCC has been contributing, and will continue to contribute, to the Greek economy in a multitude of ways. Indicatively, it contributes €203,000,000 annually to the country’s GDP and €36,000,000 annually to tax revenues, while at the same time it is creating and maintaining 2,844 job positions thanks to the wider economic activity generated by its operation.

To sum up, the Impact Study assesses the impact of the SNFCC's operation over the past 5 years. In particular, it records the SNFCC's acknowledgement as a landmark of modern-day Athens and its contribution to the cultural, educational and economic growth of Greece. Moreover, the study records the SNFCC's contribution to ensuring environmental sustainability and its consolidation as a model of accessibility. In keeping with the vision of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the creation of a public space that is open to all, the SNFCC is committed to further enhance its cultural and social impact over the coming years.

You may read the entire Impact Study here.




See also

3 November 2022

HR Awards 2022 - Silver Award for the SNFCC in the category “Equity & Social Protection in the Workplace”


7 November 2022

Christmas at the SNFCC 2022