Alpha Bank Culture – About Us
The Alpha Bank Art Collection, Numismatic Collection, Historical Archives and Library own and manage a significant number of works of art, coins from ancient and modern-day Greece, invaluable historical items, archival material and rare books. They came together owing to the passion and initiatives of Spyros I. Costopoulos and Yiannis S. Costopoulos. Meanwhile, Alpha Banks runs the Banknote Museum on the island of Corfu and a Cultural Centre in Nafplio.
In the 1960s, the Commercial Credit Bank, ran by Spyros I. Costopoulos, decided to feature works by Greek artists in its branches. Later on Yiannis S. Costopoulos, managing director of Credit Bank, started to commission one work of art by a Greek artist for every new branch that opened. The Alpha Bank Art Collection was created through these initiatives. From 2000 to 2014, the Collection was further enriched following the mergers with Ionian Bank, Popular Bank, Commercial Bank and Citibank.
Currently, the Alpha Bank Art Collection features 5,500 works by Greek artists, covering Greek artworks from 1880 to date. They include paintings, prints, sculptures, assemblages, illustrations, etc. Some are on display at Alpha Bank branches and are accessible to the public.
Dr Despoina Tsourgianni and Ms Georgia Mazi are responsible for the Alpha Bank Art Collection.
Owing to his great passion for Greek culture, in 1972 Yiannis S. Costopoulos purchased the numismatic collections of A. Andreopoulos and A. Meletopoulos. This is how the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection came to be. From 1984 to 2015, the Collection was enriched with another 7 private collections. Meanwhile, it expanded continuously with purchases of coins on auction abroad.
With 11,000 ancient coins, and 2,000 coins and banknotes from the modern Greek state, the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection is among the most impressive private coin collections worldwide.
The Collection aims to piece back together the numismatic history of Greece and bring Greek coins back home through auctions. In addition, it offers educational programmes for young and old.
Dr Dimitra Tsangari and Ms Matina Dimopoulou are responsible for the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection.
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives were created in 1999, primarily to serve business purposes. They were later enriched with memorable items and found their true purpose, that is to preserve the corporate identity and historical memory of the Alpha Bank Group and its companies.
Today, the Archives boast invaluable hard-copy documentation spread across 2,000 metres of shelves and nearly 700,000 pages of digitised material.
Professor Konstantinos Kostis, Advisor to the Management, is responsible for the Alpha Bank Historical Archives.
The Alpha Bank Library was initially called the “Library of the Financial Studies and Legal Services Divisions” and held a considerable number of books on Economics and Law. It was significantly enriched in the 1980s, thanks to significant donations, and even more so in 2000, following the merger of Ionian Bank, and in 2013, following the merger of Commercial Bank.
Today, the Library handles over 30,000 book titles in Greek and other languages, as well as bank documents and rare photography archives. It is responsible for all the Alpha Bank publications.
It also holds a unique collection of rare books that offer a glimpse into the history of modern Greece. These rare books were dutifully collected and kept by Yiannis S. Costopoulos and later bequeathed to the Alpha Bank Library. Most date back to the 16th to 19th century and are the works of ancient Greek writers and European travellers, who toured the wider Greek territory.
Ms Foteini Petsopoulou, Ms Myrto Athinaiou and Mr Tryfonas Konstantopoulos are responsible for the Alpha Bank Library.
The Banknote Museum
The Banknote Museum of Ionian Bank on the island of Corfu features a permanent collection that spans the history of the modern Greek state. It is housed in the 1st central branch of Ionian Bank, which opened on Corfu in 1840, on Agiou Syridonos Square.
The museum is one of the most important ones of its kind, welcoming thousands of visitors from across the globe every year. It also hosts educational programmes for young and old.
Mr Konstantinos Christopoulos is responsible for the Banknote Museum of Ionian Bank.
The Cultural Centre
The Alpha Bank Cultural Centre in Nafplio is housed in a two-storey neoclassical-style building on Syntagma Square. It hosts temporary exhibitions, congresses, day conferences, seminars and workshops.
Ms Ioanna Mavria is responsible for the Alpha Bank Cultural Centre.