The new branch of the National Gallery at Naflpion

The church of Saint Nicholas of Myra, Turkey

The Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy at Columbia University, NYC

The Cathedral Church of Annunciation at Alexandria, Egypt

Scene from the dramatisation of the A' rhapsody of the Iliad at Pergamon Museum in Berlin

Performance of the Onassis Programme for the Performance of Greek Drama, Oxford University

Scene from the dramatisation of the A' rhapsody of the Iliad at Pergamon Museum in Berlin

The headquarters and facilities of ELEPAP in Athens

The Children's Oncology Unit ‘Elpida’ at the Children's Hospital Agia Sophia in Athens

The Children's Oncology Unit Elpida at the Children's Hospital Agia Sophia in Athens


Projects & Grants

In the course of the Foundation’s 40 years of operation, the Board of Directors has offered grants for the support of prominent public benefit projects, having undertaken - in collaboration with its associated entities –the implementation of their technical studies, construction and funding. In certain cases, the Board of Directors decides on the co-financing of major projects in Greece and abroad in collaboration with other public benefit institutions. 
The Onassis Foundation, in the framework of its established interest in Greek Culture, Education and the Arts, has offered extensive grants and has financially supported organizations that are active in these fields. Exhibitions, traditional dance performances, theatre productions, as well as book presentations, have travelled around the world promoting Greece, with the support of the Onassis Foundation.

In the field of education, the Foundation grants educational material and technological equipment to Greek schools in remote areas as well as to Cultural Centers abroad - formed by expatriates - which face serious financial issues. Also, the Foundation supports special schools and special educational support classes incorporated into general school units, by providing educational and instructional material to facilitate special needs pedagogues with their teaching process and the improvement of student quality of learning.

Outside Greece, the Foundation financially supports specific University Chairs, Departments/Programs and Classical Schools in Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, Africa, Australia and Asia, where Greek studies are taught. In appreciation of the contribution made by these Universities, as well as of the difficulties they encounter, the Foundation funds established university Programmes of Greek Studies which have done important and consistent work, as well as Classical Schools that teach the Greek language. Special emphasis is given to Chairs of Hellenic Studies in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Onassis Foundation has also funded the rebuilding and equipment of libraries of important museums in Athens: the National Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the Benaki Museum and the Archaeological Society at Athens. Moreover, it has funded the construction, equipment and operation of a specialized library dedicated to Ancient Greek and Roman Art, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 

The Onassis Foundation, following an invitation on behalf of the Greek State, undertook in 2011 the organization of the European Architectural Competition and the funding of a total of 33 technical studies with the contribution of 60 researchers from Greece and abroad under the supervision of state authorities, for the implementation of the programme for the “reorganization of the Athens city centre on the axis of Panepistimiou Street”, now named “Rethink Athens”, which is part of a broader redefinition of Athens’ metropolitan centrality carried out by the Greek State, following the completion of traffic and city planning studies implemented by public authorities in collaboration with the National Technical University of Athens during the period 2009-2012. The undertaking of the said responsibility by the Onassis Foundation was validated through laws, regulations and decisions of the respective Ministries. All technical studies were completed at the end of 2013. 

The aims of the project are:
-    The transformation of the city center into a destination for people, from a plain drive-through area for vehicles, unless the latters’ destination is the actual center of the city
-    The functional, environmental and aesthetic upgrade of the center
-    The enhancement of commercial, administrative and financial operations of the city
-    The return of private residence to the city center
-    The emergence of the historic and cultural profile of the capital 
-    The enhancement of sustainable mobility
-    The improvement of the quality of citizens’ everyday lives

The humanitarian aid provided by the Foundation on occasion of emergencies like earthquakes, floods and massive destruction has been prompt and essential. In many cases, the Board of Directors unanimously offered its direct support to the Government for the provision of aid to Greek citizens.

In accordance with its statutes, the Foundation is not permitted to offer individual charity to citizens in need. Nevertheless, it has contributed significantly in the effort of relieving existent social issues and needs by providing funding to organizations that directly support vulnerable social groups. In 2010, the Board of Directors also decided to incorporate in its collections the library of Constantine Sp. Staikos, within the framework of its decades-long multifaceted support of literature, the arts and Greek Culture in general. The collection of C. Sp. Staikos’ books, in terms of both volume and content, represents the entire spectrum of intellectual activities of Greeks living abroad, both secular and religious. The Onassis Library collection begins with the Italian Renaissance Era and reaches the 19th century. The Library’s activity includes educational programs and organized visits addressed to academicians, university professors and representatives, students, researchers, book clubs and also book lovers, who wish to familiarize themselves with the library’s space and attend lectures regarding its formation and content.

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The Mansion Syrmou or Zigra is a jewel of the late 19th century architecture. It was built in 1894, as the engraved limestones that are integrated in the stonework of the southeast façade of the mansion, testify. It was built by the brothers George and Chrisos Zigras (Syrmou) who returned to their village after making a fortune in Egypt.

The Onassis Foundation approved the funding for the restoration, reconstruction and conversion of this historical building into a guesthouse. The restoration works started in October 2005 and were completed in May 2010.

The Mansion Zigra was saved and is now a building that serves in all respects the contemporary needs of the people who visit this village. Furthermore, it provides the possibility of its operation as a cultural centre. 

For further information, please visit the website


In 2005, the Board of Directors of the Foundation has decided the financial assistance of a new ambitious programme at the University of Oxford. These programme was named Onassis Programme for the Performance of Greek Drama.

These programme is carrying out theatre productions with the participation of international reputation artists , script writers, directors and actors of ancient greek drama, that are inspired from the ancient greek drama. The programme focuses to the collection of the best international works inspired from the ancient greek drama and its adoptation and production in Oxford and England in general.

Artist and theatrical organization that have collaboreted thoughout these years are among others: Derek Walcott, Manning Camerata, Dominique le Gendre, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Temple Theatre, Clare Higgins, Colin Teevan, The Farber Foundry, Lydia Koniordou, Struan Leslie, Seamus Heaney, Nottinham Playhouse, Stephen Sharkey, Alex Silverman, The Clod Ensemble, The Lyric Hammersmith, The Oxford Playhouse, Hannah Rosenfelder, Kneehigh's Emma Rice.

The funding of the Onassis Programme for the Performance of Greek Drama at Oxford University was completed in 2010. For more information about the programme and its performances you may visit :


The branch of the National Gallery at Nafplion is housed in a fine neo-classical building which has been restored, converted, and fully equipped for museum use at the Foundations expense.
The mansion was built in 1905 based on the design of K. P Chantzaras, as the home and private clinic of the doctor, and later mayor of Nafplion, George Minaios. The mansion was used for many different purposes until it was abandoned. Later on it became the property of the Municipality of Nafplion, which bestowed it to the National Gallery to serve as a new branch, although it was a complete ruin. The museum was inaugurated on May 8, 2004 by the then President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Constantine Stephanopoulos.

Today the branch of the National Gallery, funded by the Foundation, is considered to be the best, in terms of museum functionality and lay out, of the provincial museums in Greece. Paintings, sculptures, objects of everyday use and the weapons of the men who fought the battle for independence in Greece,

are amongst the items on display. A space for periodical exhibitions and educational programs for the schools are also part of its current activities.

The museum was inaugurated on May 8, 2004 by the then President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Constantine Stephanopoulos.

For more information you may visit the website


In 2003, the Foundation decided to co-finance, together with the Vehbi Ko Foundation, the preservation and maintenance programme for the church of Saint Nicholas of Myra, in the region of southern Turkey that was known as Lycia in ancient times. The work had received initial support from the Antalya Administration (2002), the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (2001), and the World Monuments Fund – Samuel H. Kress Foundation (2000). Thanks to the financial assistance of the Onassis and Ko Foundations, the restoration programme was completed witin three years, namely in 2008.

The church of Saint Nicholas, of major architectural and religious importance, is a basilica with a dome dating from the middle Byzantine period. It was built in 520 A.D. on the foundations of an older, early Christian church, where Saint Nicholas as the bishop of Myra, celebrated Mass during the 4th century A.D.

It is considered by experts to be the third most important Byzantine building in Anatolia. Its importance is due mainly to the remarkable frescoes which depict, among other things, the cycle of the miraculous life of Saint Nicholas. It is the first and only example of its kind in Turkey, of great significance in the development of Byzantine wall-painting.

From the 6th to the 11th century A.D. the memory of Saint Nicholas, protector of the weak, was held in high honour in the Orthodox Church. Later he was worshipped as the protecting Saint of the Russian imperial court.

In 1982, the church of St Nicholas and its surrounding area were classified by the Turkish Ministry of Culture as an archaeological site of major importance and were included in the World Heritage List. Professor Yildiz Ötüken of Hacettepe University at Ankara, who is also the Director of the excavations, conducts the publication of the work of preservation and restoration of the church.

The main feature of the programme is the inventory of the murals and of the architectural spaces, which is being carried out by a team of experts from the society for the Conservation of Historic Buildings and Architecture (KA.BA) headed by the architect Cengiz Kabaoğlu.

A team directed by the archaeologist and preservation expert T. Ridvan İsler carries out the work of preservation and restoration. The historian Dr Nilay ‚orağan Karakaya from Erciyes University is undertaking the analysis and interpretation of the wall paintings that have been recorded and restored.


The Church of the Annunciation in Alexandria, a point of reference for the historical city and its Hellenism, is an impressive three – aisled basilica, built in the middle of the 19th century, with remarkable proportions in terms of symmetry and restraint.

The entire conception of the churchs majestic size, aesthetics and functionality, as well as the quality of the design and construction, all indicate the affluence, educational level and national conscience of the Greek Community of Alexandria, as well as the architectural and technical skill of its creators.

The church faced severe damage, caused by time, as well as botched repair work that had occasionally been carried out. The tests that followed revealed an overall problem of time-related decay, earthquake-induced fissures and material fatigue, particularly on the bell tower, the facades and the floor. The lack of lighting was also another problem needed to be solved by the specialists that would be assigned to take over this important task.

The Foundations Board of Directors decided to embrace this difficult project of the restoration, with the indispensable cooperation and assistance of the late Patriarch Peter VII and the Greek Community in Alexandria.

The work was completed in December 2004, at the sole expense of the Foundation.

The official opening ceremony was performed in April 2, 2006 by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and Africa Theodore II, under the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic H.E. Mr Carolos Papoulias.

After the completion of this project and in reminiscence of its work, the Foundation has published in a limited number of copies the history of the Cathedral.


In 2006 the Foundation, in recognition of the work of the ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer, decided to support it with a € 1,500,000 grant. This amount was granted for the construction of the Oncology Hospital for Children, which was inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic, H.E. Mr. Carolos Papoulias, on the 14th of October 2010, under the presence of Archbishop of Athens and Primate of the Church of Greece His Beatitude Hieronymus II.

The Onassis Foundation, in accordance with its public benefit principles in the area of healthcare, responded to the appeal of the ELPIDA Association for better life conditions for the children who are suffering from cancer. The Foundation also supported the Association in its various initiatives for the humanitarian and social support of the children and their families.

The Hospital is constructed under the most contemporary  high standards that technology and science has to offer, and is a state of 14,911 square meters with 5 buildings.

On both an administrative and an operational level the new Oncology Hospital for Children forms part of the Aghia Sophia Childrens Hospital with which it is connected via an overpass. The existing Oncology Units of the two children's hospitals - Aghia Sophia and Aglaia Kyriakou - were also transferred to the new hospital.

Furthermore the new hospital includes a Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Oncological and Hematological Unit, Pain Unit, a School for the Education of the Hospitalized Children, 2 Playgrounds, a Theatre and a Guest House for the Parents. 


In 2003 the Foundation responded positively to the request submitted by the governing body  of the Athens and Thessaloniki Hellenic Society for Disabled Children (ELEPAP).

The Foundation funded and supervised the technological upgrading of the ELEPAP facilities in Athens and Thessaloniki. This involved computerising the medical, educational and financial sections and setting up a computer network together with the appropriate software programmes. The computerisation constitutes an upgrading of the services of ELEPAP, facilitating the monitoring of the childrens medical history, their treatment, and the training and therapy they receive from the responsible therapists.

The work for the upgrading of both offices (Athens and Thessaloniki) began in  February 2003 and was completed in September of the same year.

Subsequently, the Foundation responded to the request of the governing body of ELEPAP in Agrinio, Hania, and Ioannina, for the computerisation and technological upgrading of their facilities. The preliminary study was undertaken in 2006 and the work was completed beginning of 2010.

For further information on ELEPAP, please visit the website

* ELEPAP , in these 74 years since its opening, with 6 Centres in Greece in Athens, Thessaloniki, Chania, Ioannina, Volo and Agrinio and 270 specialized staff, despite the financial difficulties in Greece and Abroad, is organising and participating in conferences and meetings in Athens and Abroad, practicing the most contemporary and outstanding scientific and therapeutic methods of rehabilitation  in a program of holistic intervention with an interscientific team in the service of the children with mainly kinetic disabilities and development difficulties, from their first years till their coming of age.

At the same time, it works a Section of Early Educational and Curable Intervention, a Special Pre-school Education Unit, from 18th months till Six years of age, by combining educational and therapeutical intervention, as also a pioneering research Programme of Neuropzychological Rehabilitation for adults after brain damages, in collaboration with the Day Treatment Head Trauma Program of Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, of the New York School of Medicine in New York.

In annual bases it embrasses over 1.600 children with disabilities!

During the current truly difficilt financial period for all, ELEPAP is influenced from those but in no case wants to deprive from the children with disabilities the Steps of Life that its rehabilitation programme is offering.


In May 2008 the Board of Directors approved the funding for the reconstruction of the athletic track of the Arsakeia Schools in Psychiko.

The track of the Arsakeia Schools had been constructed during the 1970s and thus, it no longer corresponded to the modern standards of sports facilities. For that reason the Board of Directors decided to have the athletic track reconstructed in order to meet the standards in terms of dimensions and materials.

It should be noted that the specific athletic track serves the needs of all the school complexes of the Arsakeia Schools in Psychiko, which means that approximately 3,000 students make use of these athletic facilities (including elementary and high schools).

In addition, athletic races and events organized by private and public schools other than the Arsakeia and Tositseia Schools, take place in these facilities.


In the year 2000 the Onassis Foundation and the Exxon Mobil Company co-sponsored the founding of the Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy at Columbia University, New York. The aim of the Center is to create a new scientific discipline in response to the needs of public policy and finance regarding energy and marine transportation.

The Center aims to initiate a constructive dialogue between industry, government and the organisations involved in the areas of energy, transportation and the environment.

The academic activities of the Center include:
Postgraduate studies leading to a Masters degree (MA) in international relations and public policy
Educational programmes aimed at professionals in the fields of energy and transportation
Research programmes in the fields of energy and marine transportation through publications, meetings, communications and press releases

The annual funding of the Center started in 2000 and was completed in 2010 in accordance with the three-part agreement signed on June 28, 1999 by Exxon Mobil, the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation and the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
For more information about the Centre and its academic programs you may visit :
Gaziantep Oto Kiralama


Since 1998, the Onassis Foundation taking into consideration the important work of the special schools in Greece, and under serious examination of their needs, has donated books , technological and educational equipment.
Namely the Foundation has granted the following special schools :

  • Special High School of Ilioupolis
  • Special School for Children with Autism in Pireaus
  • Special Elementary School in Drama
  • Special Elementary School in Filothei
  • Special Elementary School in Perama
  • Special Elementary School  (PIKPA ) in Pireaus
  • Special Elementary School (PIKPA) in Penteli
  • Special Kindergarten in Keratsini
  • Sixth Special Elementay School of Athens
  • First Special Elementary School in Drapetsona
  • First Special Elementary School in Kallithea
  • First Special Kindergarten in Pireaus
  • Experimental Special School – Maraslio School D.E. Rosa Imvriotis
  • 1st Special Elementary School in Korydallos  
  • 1st Special Kindergarten in Kallithea
  • Special Elementary School for Deaf People in Athens
  • Special Professional High School  - TEE for Special Treatment in Serres
  • Special Kindergarten in Drama

Representing Greece and since 2008, the Onassis Foundation is academic partner of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings that take place annually in Lindau, Germany.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings are organized by the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance. The Meetings are a universally recognized forum, where different generations of scientists from the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine/Physiology and Economics, have the chance to exchange knowledge and views, in an especially friendly and hospitable environment. They offer inspiration and motive to both the highly regarded participating scientists – Laureates of the Nobel Prize and to the new talents of the scientific community, through open discussions, seminars and social events organized within the framework of the meetings.

Young students and researchers that are selected for their participation, have the rare opportunity to socialize with the most important representatives of Science and to share their thoughts with acknowledged personalities in their respective fields.

The Lindau Meetings in Chemistry, Physics and Medicine/Physiology have been organized yearly since 1951. In 2004, the Economic Sciences Meetings were established and have been taking place every three years. The Lindau Meetings institution was further enhanced in the year 2000, with the establishment of the interdisciplinary meetings, with the participation of Nobel Laureates and young scientists from all three fields of Physical Sciences – Physic, Chemistry and Medicine or/ and Physiology. Interdisciplinary meetings are organized every five years.

The next, 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will be taking place from June 24th up until June 29th 2018 and will be dedicated to the field of Medicine/Physiology.
Since 1951, more than 27,000 young scientists from 80 countries have participated in the Lindau Meetings. Every scientific meeting welcomes about 30 Nobel Prize holders and about 600 young scientists.

The Scientific Committee of the Foundation, though its members’ knowledge and long teaching experience and under the Presidency of Prof. Dimitris Nanopoulos, is responsible for the preliminary selection of those that will competing for a place in the Lindau Meetings; the Committee has been established in order to choose and recommend to the Lindau Meetings organizers for their final approval, a pre-defined number of graduate and post graduate students, PhD Candidates, PhD and Post PhD researchers of outstanding research work and significant academic profile.

Greek Universities have an especially important role in the preliminary selection process; each year, the Foundation asks for the valuable assistance of the aforesaid Universities’ Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Biology (depending on which scientific field is being hosted that year) in order to collect all interested parties’ candidatures and select the most promising ones, based on the organizers’ selection criteria. All candidatures from all Greek Universities are evaluated by the Foundation’s Scientific Committee, which ultimately decides on the 10 candidatures (15 if the Meeting is interdisciplinary) that will be submitted to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings organizers for their final evaluation and selection.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings organizers have the responsibility of making the final selection of participants. Their task is challenging, as candidates competing for a place in each Meeting are many (coming from all over the world) and of remarkable qualities.

The Onassis Foundation, as academic partner of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, has so far funded the participation of 60 Greek young scientists in the aforesaid venture (including the Economics Meeting in the summer of 2017). All participants’ expenses (participation fees/ board and accommodation, transportation and miscellaneous expenses) are fully covered by the Foundation.

With a recent decision of its Board of Directors, the Onassis Foundation will be funding young scientists for their participation in the Economic Sciences Meetings organized every three years. The next meeting in the field of Economics will be organized in 2017 and for the selection of participants in the final evaluation procedure on behalf of the organizers, the same primary selection procedure will be followed as with the one described above with regard to the Lindau Meetings in the fields of Physics, Chemistry and Medicine/Physiology, in which Greece has been participating in so far.

For more information regarding the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, you may visit .

In collaboration with the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) in Crete, the Onassis Foundation has been organizing since 2001 an annual series of advanced scientific seminar lectures under the title “The Onassis Foundation Science Lecture Series”. The lectures cover the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics. The duration of each lecture series is one week and all lecture series aim to enhance the education and assist the advancement of young Greek researchers, post graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

The lectures - which are held in July of each year at the FORTH facilities in Heraklion, Crete – are delivered in English by prominent scientists from all over the world and are complemented by lectures of distinguished Greek scientists from the respective scientific field.

For the selection of the invited lecturers, a scientific committee has been formed, comprising ten internationally acclaimed Greek and foreign Professors.

The Onassis Foundation Science Lecture Series always cover subjects at the forefront of current research activities and are considered an internationally established institution of the highest level. Up to four lecture series are organized each year, dealing with topics at the cutting edge of international science and research in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Computer Science.

The lectures aim to further educate and promote young talented scientists, post graduate and undergraduate students; each lecture series lasts a week. The Onassis Foundation covers travel and accommodation expenses for both lecturers and participating students. 

Sole criterion for the students’ selection is their academic performance, demonstrated through certificates of studies and two recommendation letters that are sent directly to the Foundation for Research and Technology by Professors that are familiar with the students’ studies and overall scientific work.

Participating students are required to register daily right before the beginning of the lectures, to continuously attend and to keep notes. To receive a Participation Diploma, students are obligated to send within 30 days from the end of the lectures, a 10-page report based on the notes they have collected.

The number of students participating with the financial support of the Onassis Foundation each year is 35 students from Greece and 15 from abroad. Furthermore, students from the Foundation for Research and Technology and the University of Crete may also participate to attend the lectures, selected with the same academic criteria yet without funding. Other students and researchers may also participate, also with private expense coverage.

In total, 24 weekly series of Lectures in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science have been organized since 2001, offered by 163 internationally acclaimed scientists; among them, 18 Nobel Laureates, 5 Turing Prize holders (the highest distinction in Computer Science) and 1 Fields Medal holder (the highest distinction in Mathematics). In total, more than 1,300 students have been accepted to attend the lectures. Apart from the dedicated lectures offered to the students, most of the main lecturers have also offered a public lecture to a wide audience. All of the lectures are recorded on video and then uploaded in the Lectures’ website. Each Nobel Laureate’s public lecture is also broadcasted via live streaming. What sets the Onassis Science Lecture Series’ apart from other similar scientific events, is the fact that, world class scientists (holders of a Nobel Prize or equal) do not just offer a lecture but remain throughout the entire week of lectures interacting with the students at the Amphitheater of the Foundation for Research and Technology

The Onassis Science Lecture Series’ contribution to Greece’s international radiant presence was evident in the support that our country received when in 2012, 23 world class scientists (21 of which were holders of a Nobel prize) submitted a petition to the European Union leaders asking for the enthusiastic support of Greece and its academic and scientific Institutions. 12 of the Nobel Laureates signing the petition have been main lecturers of the Onassis Science Lecture Series. Their acquaintance with Greece’s scientific community through the Foundation for Research and Technology and their very positive experience during their visit in Greece proved to be of decisive importance in their decision to accept co-signing of the said petition.

In the summer of 2017, two Onassis Science Lecture Series were organized; one dedicated to Computer Science and one to the field of Physics. Keynote speaker of the Onassis Lectures in Computer Science (entitled “Big Data and Applications”) was Turing award holder Prof.  Michael Stonebraker, who gave the lectures and communicated with the students via video-conference due to an unexpected event. The Onassis Lectures in Physics (entitled “Quantum physics frontiers explored with cold atoms, molecules and photons”) had Nobel Prize winner Professor Serge Haroche as keynote speaker.

For more information regarding the full schedule of FORTH’s Seminar Lectures, you may visit

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