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Natalia Mela: 25 Sculptures


The Society of Cretan Historical Studies is extending the temporary exhibition of 25 sculptures by Natalia Mela at the Historical Museum of Crete to the end of December 2018, with minor rearrangements, due to increased visitor attendance during the summer months.

In the rooms of the Museum Sculpture Collection (Ground Floor), in an innovative dialogue between past and present, scissors, springs, adzes and chains make up the small animals and birds, the tools and warriors of Natalia Mela, exhibited among the stone and marble sculptures of the Byzantine and Venetian periods. With the valuable contribution of Alexandra Tsoukala, the sculptor’s daughter, the exhibition is a condensed record of Mela’s oeuvre, initiating visitors into the art of readymade sculpture. 

The Historical Museum exhibition is accompanied by a free leaflet in Greek and English, with a brief but informative text by Alekos Levidis on the period covered by the exhibits, and excerpts from Dimitris Pikionis’s critiques of Natalia Mela’s work from the exhibition of her work in the 1960s.
This exhibition of modern art in the Sculpture Collection has already attracted great interest and positive comments by the increasing numbers of summer visitors from abroad.

Following the recent presentation of readymade sculptures by Heraklion schoolchildren at the HMC and the organization of educational programmes and other activities for children and adults, the exhibition will continue to be a creative learning resource and a source of inspiration for the educational community in the next school year. 

Admission to the exhibition is included in the general admission fee.


Natalia Mela was born in Athens in 1923. Her father Michael Melas, an artillery officer, was the son of Pavlos Melas and Natalia Dragoumi, originating from Epirus and Macedonia. Her mother was Alexandra Pesmantzoglou, daughter of the banker Ioannis Pesmantzoglou. In 1942 she passed the entrance exams to the Athens School of Fine Arts, and there she followed the courses of Demetriades and later of Tombros, attending also Apartis’s workshop. At that same period, she opened her own workshop at Mourouzi Street, no. 5, where she still does her work. In 1946 she was awarded the first prize for Nude Figures and graduated from the School. In 1951 she married the architect Aris Konstandinidis, with whom she had two children. Her work has been shown many times in individual and group exhibitions, in Greece and abroad. In the spring of 2008, the Benaki Museum held a major retrospective of her work. In March 2011, the Academy of Athens honoured her with the Medal for Excellence in Art.

Exhibition Duration: 14.02-31.12.2018