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The Institute

The Swedish Institute at Athens

The SIA Building at Athens. Photo: Vasilis Theodorou.
The SIA Building at Athens. Photo: Vasilis Theodorou.

The Swedish Institute at Athens, founded in 1946, is non-profit research foundation financed mainly by the Swedish government through the Ministry of Education. The Institute opened its doors to scholars and students in 1948 and earned a full status as a so-called Foreign Archaeological School in 1975.

The Swedish Institute at Athens has its judicial seat in Stockholm and its board consists of a chairman and, at the most, eleven other members, representing Classical Archaeology, Ancient Greek and Art History. The government appoints the chairman of the board and an auditor to audit the accounts. Approximately 90% of the Institute budget is financed by the government; various Swedish private foundations provide the rest of the funding.

According to its statues, the mission of the Swedish Institute at Athens is to:

  • conduct research into the culture of ancient Greece
  • provide higher education in the field of the culture of ancient Greece in order to enrich our own culture
  • stimulate and support the cultural exchange between Sweden and Greece.

This mission is mainly carried out in Greece, where the Swedish Institute at Athens has the status of a Foreign Archaeological School. This brings the privilege of being able to conduct archaeological field research in Greece. There are currently 19 such research and educational institutions in Athens, whose status and functions are defined in the Greek law of antiquities. In accordance with this law, the Schools should administer all archaeological research conducted in Greece by scholars of their home countries. The schools can conduct archaeological fieldwork on Greek soil on certain conditions, including that they present their recent work during a yearly open meeting, that they publish the results of their work in an international scientific journal and that they keep a research library that is accessible also to Greek scholars. (The Swedish Institute provides, together with the Danish, Finnish and Norwegian Institutes at Athens, the Nordic Library).

Since 2017, the Institute have increased its activities in Sweden. Among recurrent events are the New Greek Film Sundays in October, and the Annual Meeting presenting the recent work of the Institute. The events in Sweden are often collaborations with the Friends of the Swedish Institute at Athens and with the sister institutes, the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome and the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.

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