What the Press wrote about Tactual Museum

Sunday Eleftherotypia Newspapers EPSILON magazine

Touching Kritios' boy At the renovated Tactual Museum of Athens nothing is what it seems for the reason that nothing has been made to be [only] seen. The Epsilon visited the Museum and discovered the multiple levels of [non] sight.

Saturday, June 20, 2004, text: Paris Kormaris, photo Nikos Pelos / Zuma

It is Forbidden NOT to touch

Poseidon of Artemision "... At the landmark building on Doiranis Street I was welcomed by the secretary of the Lighthouse for the Blind, Mrs. Zoe Christopoulou - Geroulanou. My first impression of the space was that it could be any archeological museum which includes the masterpieces of ancient greek heritage; Hermes of Praxiteles, Aphrodite of melos, the Dephi Charioteer, Zeus of Artemision, all are copies of the originals, works of art from the Archeological Receipts Fund. The unique difference is that at this Museum the traditional exhibition signs with the distinguishable writing are covered with transparent plastic embossed with Braille.
Once the manager of the Museum, who is blind, starts the tour of the museum, things take on a different dimension ...She stands next to the relief slab of Athena Nike, who tries to tie-up her sandal. "I especially like it because I find that it has a particular technique and sensitivity, she says as she goes over it with her fingertips. You touch all the creases in her clothes and despite the fact that it is carved of marble you have the impression that it is fine-spun cloth. Touching it, you can almost feel the lines of the body underneath ..."

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Touching History

Touching Aphrodite of Melos "... For someone who is used to going through a museum with his eyes, the procedure seems time-consuming. On the other hand, that is because sighted individuals have learned to pass through a museum quickly giving the minimal attention required to see the object at hand. I close my eyes and try to understand with my hands what image is depicted in the bas-relief I am touching, without looking at it. I dont understand a lot justifiable as its the first time Ive ever tried something like this. It seems that Im not alone. You havent learned how to use your hands, I hear Mrs. Asideri reprimand the others ..."

"20 centuries of civilization at my fingertips"

Touching Aphrodite of Melos "... I ask Mrs. Asideri to recall incidents from the museum which have been etched into her memory and recant them to me. She speaks to me about a visit from a blind French professor, who afterwards wrote an article for the museum entitled "20 centuries of civilization at my fingertips". She hesitates for a bit and continues with another incident which she would rather I not mention in my article. I disobey hoping that she will forgive me: "They had brought a blind and deaf child around the age of 10, from PIKPA, who had been abandoned as a baby. Just as we took him in our arms and raised him up to the statue of Venus de Milo, he put his lips on the statue and tried to nurse ..."

[ All of the texts are excerpts from Mr. Paris Kormaris article written for the Tactual Museum, in the 20 June 2004 edition of the Sunday Eleftherotypia Newspapers EPSILON magazine. The colour photographs of Mr. Nikou Pilou / Zuma were transferred to the website in black and white. ]

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