Great concern for the future of the Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine studies in Venice is expressed through a petition letter signed by over 700 academics, scholars, university staff from Greece and abroad. As stated in the petition “The Institute is the only official Greek academic foundation outside Greece. It has been in operation in Venice since the 1950s. An escalating attack against this outstanding research centre has been observed in recent weeks. Publications in the press and various rumours have created a climate of alarm and tension.”
The signatories request from the “Greek Government to act so that the Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice can continue without interruption its work for the benefit of Greek scholarship. We ask the Greek Government to offer its active support for the important research, cultural and national contribution that the Institute has made and continues to make under its present Administration”
The Institute was founded in 1951, following a cultural agreement between Italy and Greece signed in 1948. In 1953 the Greek state donated to it the moveable and immoveable property of the historic Greek Orthodox Confraternity in Venice. The Confraternity had ceded this property to the Greek state, on condition that the state would guarantee its material support.
Housed in the building of the former Flanghinis College, the Institute began to function in 1958, on the completion of major, radical restoration work on the Confraternity’s buildings.
The Institute’s main objectives are to carry out studies in Byzantine and Post-Byzantine history — focussing primarily on the history of Greek territories under Latin domination, on the basis of Italian and in particular Venetian archives — and to publish the relevant historical sources.
Research in archives and libraries is carried out by Greek graduates, who receive a scholarship in order to prepare doctoral theses and other studies on topics in the history, art and literature of the Greek regions under Venetian rule, and also on aspects of the history and activities of the Greek Confraternity in Venice.
The Institute publishes an annual journal, “Thesaurismata”, as well as several series of publications: “Library”, “Oriens Graecolatinus”, “Graecolatinitas Nostra-Fonti”, “Conferencesi” andd Doctoral theses