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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-02

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Historic Vrana oil press on Lesvos reopens as Industrial Museum

  • [01] Historic Vrana oil press on Lesvos reopens as Industrial Museum

    The old Vrana traditional Oil Press on the island of Lesvos was inaugurated as an Industrial Museum on Saturday after extensive restoration works that lasted three years.

    The historic Vrana Olive Oil Press, one of the first steam-powered factories from the industrial revolution of Lesvos, dates back to the 19th century.

    Built in 1887 in Papados village, in the Bay of Yera, the Press belonged to Nikolaos Vranas, grandfather of island's Nobel poetry laureate Odysseas Elytis (Odysseas Alepoudelis), and was in operation up to the early 1970s, while the oilive oil it produced was traded throughout Greece and in Istanbul on the opposite Turkish coast on the Bosphorus Strait.

    The impressive stone and marble building was donated to the municipality of Papados in 1985, and in 1999 was purchased by five members of the non-profit Archipelagos Society that was set up to preserve and promote the Aegean civilation, who later donated it to the Archipelagos Society.

    Archipelagos restored the building, turning the abandoned factory into a landmark Museum.

    Apart from the building premises themselves, the machinery have also been restored, including its rare Tangye diesel machine built in Burmingham, UK, one of only seven of its kind in the world. Also, 112 accounting books found in 2004 under rocks and mud in a corner of the factory have been cleaned and are also on exhibit. The books comprise one of the fullest and rarest archives of an olive oil production unit existing in Greece today.

    The new Industrial Museum also boasts an exhibition of paintings by 14 prominent Greek artists that have been inspired by the olive tree and olive oil, including Io Aggeli, Yannis Adamakos, Yannis Lasithiotakis, Michalis Madenis, Sotiris Sorogas, Panagiotis Tetsis, Costas Tsoklis and Alekos Fassianos.

    Other items on display include old clay vases, iron and bronze vessels, and tin olive oil cans of local oil companies, while "before" and "after" pictures of all the rooms are also exhibited.

    Tours of the restored Oil Press are conducted in Greek and English.

    The inauguration was attended by parliament president Dimitris Sioufas and other officials.

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