Greece's first Vehicle Museum opens

Vehicles covering a period of more than a century will be on display at Greece's first Vehicle Museum in an exhibition that opened on Wednesday in downtown Athens.

The recently-inaugurated Museum, located on the top level of the three-storey Athenian Capitol multi-purpose cultural, commercial and recreational facility, features an 1895 fire pump, the oldest exhibit on display, while other highlights include cars belonging to historical figures of the arts and politics, some of which were acquired through international auctions over the last three decades.

The Athenian Capitol mall, which also contains a conference center, a 3D cinema, some 30 shops, and 10 restaurants and cafes, as well as an 8-storey underground garage with a capacity of 800 cars, is a 45 million euro investment by the Charagionis Group is expected to attract more than three million visitors annually.

All the Museum's exhibits are from the private collection of Group founder Theodoros Charagionis, which currently numbers 292 vehicles.

Initially, 111 of the vehicles will be on display in the alternating exhibition. They will be replaced by 100-120 other vehicles next year, and by the remaining vehicles of the collection the following year.

The Museum also plans to host parallel theme exhibitions such as racing cars, and exhibits dedicated to vehicles originating from different industries, such as Ferrari, or different countries, such as Italy.

Among the current exhibits are actor Paul Newman's Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, legendary Led Zeppelin rock group frontsman Robert Plant's 1959 Chrysler Ιmperial, Formula 1 driver Lorenzo Bandini's personal 1953 Lancia Aurelia with its Gucci-designed interior, as well as cars that belonged to dukes, barons and members of the House of Lords.

A special road safety program for children will also be running at the Museum on weekdays, specialised for a variety of age groups.

Another attraction is a Formula 1 simulator, while the Museum Store offers a host of collector-item memorabilia.

The Vehicle Museum, situated at the corner of Patission and Triti Septemvriou street, will be open to the public from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.

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