Young children are impulsive and bright in ways that only a person of that age can be. It’s really important for them to be introduced to art in original ways when they are young.

what led you to work for the museum?

I dropped work to raise my children, but as they grew older I felt there was a gap to fill. I needed to create. My heart has always belonged to art. I started working at the Museum of Cycladic Art on a part-time basis, but then I found myself wanting to be there every day! It is a big challenge yet so rewarding. Through the Kids Contest we’ve met hugely varying cultures and children from very different backgrounds.

was it a challenge going back to work?

Yes. The main challenge was with myself, because I hadn’t worked in this particular environment before and the first step took a lot of courage. I had to convince myself that I have what it takes to get out and start. I did get scared that I wouldn’t manage but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made - it’s had a huge impact on my life! I feel that even my children see me differently now. I can tell that they’re really happy for me.

what’s the theme of the kids contest this year?

The Kids Contest is always based on an object and this year the object is the Cypriot mirror from our permanent collection, on the museum’s third floor. The theme is “I am… how I see myself”, which is quite a deep subject so we decided to slightly expand the age bracket and include children in early adolescence too.

why is it important for children to take part in such competitions?

Art contests are opportunities for children to directly engage with art and not simply observe it. They can make the museum their own, express themselves and observe the museum’s collections closely. Young children are impulsive and bright in ways that only a person of that age can be. It’s really important for them to be introduced to art in original ways when they are young: not to simply be shown the artwork, but to be urged to create it themselves.

do you find that museums in greece are stepping up their game?

Definitely. There wasn’t so much happening previously but museum programmes are becoming more interesting by the day! There is a much greater dialogue between Greek museums and their visitors now. The Museum of Cycladic Art is constantly introducing new workshops and developing communities for all ages. But other institutions are also improving their educational programmes. The Basil and Elise Goulandris museum recently opened its doors for the first time, and they are already offering great ranges of great educational activities on weekends.

how has athens developed as an artistic hub?

We are seeing really exciting things happening with art venues at the moment. Take the galleries opening in Piraeus for example, which is becoming an artistic cluster in its own right. I think people abroad are taking note of this too. I love the idea of foreigners visiting our country and being inspired by the culture and ideas we have to offer.