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The Cultural Foundation of Piraeus Bank Group, PIOP

The Cultural Foundation of Piraeus Bank Group, PIOP, is financed for its operation by the Piraeus Bank. It satisfies a significant part of the Corporate Responsibility commitments of the Group and supports the rescue and promotion of the cultural heritage of the country, with emphasis on the crafts and industrial technology. In this way the Foundation contributes meaningfully and in an effective manner to Culture while it promotes the connection of Culture to the Environment.

The basic charter objectives of PIOP

  • The enlightenment of society about the need to protect and preserve the traditional cultural character of our country and its natural environment – in parallel with its industrial development - and the application of innovative methods for their accomplishment
  • The rescue, recording and promotion of the material and intangible cultural heritage of the country
  • The rescue of traditional crafts and industrial technology of our country, the recording of their history and the recording of the history of the Group through the rescue and organisation of its archives, as well as the contribution to the research about traditional technology and industrial archaeology
  • The contribution to the cultural and economic development of the country through research, promotion and utilisation of its cultural depth.
  • The protection and management of the natural, urban and cultural environment
  • The conservation and presentation of the landscape in the context of the principles of sustainable development and the dissemination of environmental and social sensitisation to citizens and appropriate institutions

The main actions of PIOP

  • Creation and management of a wide network of thematic technological museums in the greek periphery. These museums do not belong to the Foundation or the Bank but to the local authorities or the state. The Foundation assumes, according to contractual agreements, the responsibility of their exemplary operation, the sum of their expenses, as well as the maintenance of their buildings and their collections. The assumption of these responsibilities can be returned to the owners, after a specified time period, if they so wish
  • Conducting research programmes and satisfying research needs of the scientific community
  • Conservation and promotion, both regarding the special and the general public, of a historical archive connected with the economic, banking, industrial and agricultural history of the country
  • Publication of scientific works
  • Organisation of cultural events
  • Reinforcing rescue actions relative to cultural heritage
  • Participation in the public debate about strategic policy making in the field of culture

In 2014 began the scheduled period of the implementation of thematic reorientation, restructuring and activation of the Foundation which is based on the diptych ‘Culture – Environment’.

The first Environmental Statement of the Foundation according to the requirements of Regulation EMAS was approved and listed in the greek EMAS Register with the registration number EL-000110, while the buildings of the Foundation were certified according to EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) and ISO 14001

The upgrade of the internet site of the Foundation, www.piop.gr, was completed and it now operates with various new technical capabilities and with a format analogous to that of the sites of the biggest foundations and museums worldwide.

In the context of supporting the conservation of the cultural heritage of the country, the design and implementation of a pilot programme was completed, regarding the renovation of listed buildings in the historic Centre of Ermoupolis in Syros.

In addition, the Foundation contributed to the recording of the know-how of mastiha cultivation in Chios to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO, while it supported the «Mastiha Festival», after the invitation of the Regional Development Fund of North Aegean and in close cooperation with the Tourism Department of the Chios Periphery.

Regarding the Museum Network in the greek periphery, the sterling operation of the 7 thematic technological Museums and the construction of two more was continued. At the same time, two new programmes materialised and were integrated in the long term action plan of PIOP: «Museums , everyday spaces of the city» and «Friends of PIOP», while cultural events and speeches of psychosocial health were organised in the Multipurpose Halls of the Museums. Finally, the employees of five Museums and a number of local community members were trained to Basic Life Support, in cooperation with the Samaritans, Rescuers and Lifeguards Corp of the Hellenic Red Cross.

The Historical Archive of PIOP keeps records of greek banks which were absorbed by the Piraeus Group in the past, as well as archives of institutions and businesses that were connected with those banks. The purpose of the function of the Historical Archive is to promote the importance of preserving the memory of archival sources and to ease the utilisation of the archival material by multiple groups of recipients. In 2014 the reconstruction of the equipment in the building complex in Tavros, where the Historical Archive is now housed, was completed, and all the necessary certifications of the buildings were issued. The choice of the Piraeus Group and of PIOP for the installation of the Archive in Tavros contributes to the upgrade of a neighbourhood in Athens, integrating it in the cultural map of the capital.

Since July 2014, the Library of PIOP participates in the Hellenic Economic Library Network (HELIN). Its operation was also reinforced with a parallel provision for the integration of the Library of ex ATEbank

In 2014, 6 new works were published (5 printed and 1 in electronic format) while 2 University handbooks of PIOP publications were republished.

In what regards the research work, during 2014, the capitalisation of the research wealth of PIOP was completed and the research was promoted to the general public to the benefit of the local communities and the wider scientific community, while research reserves, the scientific specialisation of the personnel and its networking with the scientific community were further utilised.

The scientific advice support which constitutes a big chapter in the activity of the Foundation, focused during 2014 on the cooperation with the Athens School of Fine Arts for the organisation of the exhibitions «Producing Art» at the Rooftile & Brickworks Museum N. & S. Tsalapatas and «The poetry of Chios through the eyes of artists» at the Ottoman Baths of Chios and in the spaces of the Athens School of Fine Arts in Athens, as well as on the organisation of lectures, seminars and speeches.

Regarding Education the realisation of the co-funded programme «Pausanias 2:0: From the School to the Museum» began, in the context of the Business Programme «Education and Lifelong Learning» of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, while as any other year, several sponsorships were made, of printed material to school communities (104 files and 1,705 volumes of PIOP publications for 2014). In addition the opportunity of practical on the job training was given to eleven trainee students. Finally, the Foundation contributed for another year to lifelong learning and practical professional training of new scientists and professionals.

During 2014, PIOP signed three memorandums of cooperation in the context of its participation in national, international scientific and educational bodies.

Organisation of International Meeting

‘CULTURAL LANDSCAPES IN NATURA 2000 SITES: Towards a new policy for the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage.’