The exhibition of Robert McCabe-Katerina Lymperopoulou, entitled “The Last Monk of the Strofades”, opens today at the Benaki Museum “Digitally”.
During the temporary suspension of the museums, the public can have an experience of the exhibition through unique shots of the works and the exhibition space, on the website of the Benaki Museum on the page benaki.org/Strofades.
The exhibition, under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, tells the story of a monastic complex (castle-monastery) that was founded as early as the thirteenth century.
This historically, architecturally and culturally unique complex dominates a secluded corner of the Ionian Islands, on a small island – just a third of an airstrip- the island of Stamfani in the Strofades complex.
According to the sacred diptychs of the temple, the fortified Monastery was founded by a Byzantine emperor, while for centuries a self-sufficient monastic community flourished there.
In the defensive tower of the complex there is a fortified temple, a very rare case for the Orthodox world – for protection from the Turkish and Algerian pirates.
The monastery is in critical condition, with an urgent demand for restoration after two catastrophic earthquakes, in 1997 and 2018. The next earthquake may be its end.
Robert McCabe’s photographic series and the research by Katerina Lymperopoulou are framed by unique exhibits and texts by distinguished scientists and are a tribute to the life of the last monk of the inaccessible Strofades (who lived there for 38 years), the last lighthouse keeper and the boat-man who brought supplies to the island.
The exhibition, which will simultaneously explore the island’s natural features and the history of its people, is based on the book “The Last Monk of the Strofades” by Robert A. McCabe and Katerina Lymperopoulou, published by Patakis Publishers.