Marinakis steps in to save Kazantzakis Museum in Crete

17 July 2014

Evangelos (Vangelis) Marinakis is never far from the pages of TradeWinds, whether it is in connection with the activities of his shipping group, Capital Product Partners; Olympiacos, the football club he owns; his recent step into local politics; or his wide-ranging charitable work.

His most recent move was to step forward with financial backing that will save the Kazantzakis Museum in Heracleion, Crete, from closing down.

Nikos Kazantzakis was one of Greece’s best-known authors. His book “Zorba the Greek” — which became a film starring Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates — lured many a foreigner to Crete.

Founded in 1983, the museum had run into debt, which Marinakis has agreed to take over as well as supporting the institution financially over the next 10 years.

As the deal was signed last week, the sometimes tough shipowner waxed lyrical about his memories of Kazantzakis and his writing.

Piqued by curiosity about the books he had seen his parents reading, Marinakis tried at the age of six or seven to delve into the author’s treasure trove.

“Because of my youth I didn’t understand much,” he admitted but says that, from those early beginnings, the values and views of the author are imprinted on his subconscious.

While Marinakis was born in Piraeus, his father, Miltiades, was from Crete and began his career in Heracleion. One of the rooms of the museum will be named after him.