Creating a museum in Thrace

It's impossible not to admire Angeliki Giannakidou when you meet her in person. She exudes a sense of competence usually associated with older women. She also has a knack of succeeding in every project she gets involved in and the ability to recognize noteworthy stories, people, objects and emotions.

Giannakidou founded the Ethnological Museum of Thrace in Alexandroupoli, northern Greece, in 2002, essentially saving a beautiful 1899 neoclassical edifice from demolition. The building, one of very few from that period still standing, comes with an exceptional history: It was the vacation home of benefactor Miltiadis Altinalmazis, who was born in Adrianople (today Edirne) and was a forebear of the first ever mayor of Alexandroupoli, Constantinos Altinalmazis, who was elected four times between 1925 and 1948.

Giannakidou has put hundreds of items she has collected...

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