Τhe Museum occupies a total area of 607m2, divided between the exhibition building, where over 1000 objects are on display, and the administration building.
Touring the Permanent Exhibition
The route inside the Museum is made up of the following series of themed sections:
BIOGRAPHY - HISTORICALBACKGROUND: On entering the main exhibition area, to the left, details of Kanzatnzakis' life are given in six chronologically organized sections, together with a diagram of the historical events that framed them. Opposite these are three free-standing cases displaying personal effects, items relating to the author's youth and biography, notes and correspondence, all of which shed light on significant aspects of his public and private life. The biography section is complemented by a series of artworks (sketches, busts etc.), rounded off by a rare film documentary of Kazantzakis' funeral on 5th November 1957.
THEODYSSEY: This room is dedicated to what the author himself held to be his magnum opus - his Odyssey. This was a poem running to 33,333 lines, in continuation of the Homeric epic. In the display cases you can see items linked to the composition of the Odyssey. These include some of the Museum's most important exhibits, such as the second and third drafts of the poem, and the desk on which Kazantzakis wrote most of his novels. In the centre of the room is a symbolic rock garden in a pit of pebbles, with a metal tree, pointing to the cold finale of the Odyssey in the icy Antarctic.
AVROOM: The AV room operates independently of the themed sections, serving to supplement available information with audiovisual material. Here you can watch a twenty-minute AV presentation on Nikos Kazantzakis' life and work, available in six languages: Greek, Dutch, English, French, German and Russian. Here, you can also see a chess-board arrangement of photographic and painted portraits showing the people intellectually or physically close to Kazantzakis: relatives, friends, women, teachers and ideological leaders, as well as correspondence between Kazantzakis and the people who influenced his life or moulded his ideologies.
READINGAREA: An area where visitors can enjoy a complimentary coffee, leaf through a book or simply relax beneath the olive leaves on the glass roof overhead.
EARLYWORKS / PLAYS: This room has a display of material on early works (SerpentandLily, BrokenSouls, TodaRabaetc.up to TheRockGarden, culminating in the SpiritualExercises) and Kazantzakis' plays (DayisBreaking, OthelloReturns, JuliantheApostate, Kapodistriasetc). The cases contain manuscripts of works, correspondence relating to them, Greek and foreign editions and, lastly, material from theatrical productions. Horizontal printed surfaces give as much detail as possible about the works concerned. The theatre room is supplemented by a small gallery of works by major Greek artists such as Engonopoulos, Tsarouchis, Vasiliou, Vacalo and Anemoyiannis, inspired by the plays of Nikos Kazantzakis.
MATURE WORKS / TRAVELS: This room hosts displays of material from Kazantzakis' mature works: ZorbatheGreek, FreedomandDeath, God'sPauper, ChristRecrucified, TheFratricides, ReporttoGreco, TheLastTemptationetc. The wall cases contain books (Greek and foreign editions) and items relating to the writing, publication and various adaptations of them. On the horizontal surfaces there are printed excerpts from letters, press articles, photographs of performances and adaptations etc. This room also makes reference to Kazantzakis' travels and travel writing. In the room, brief reference is further made to other milestones in the author's life: the houses where he lived, his involvement in politics and his relationship to the cinema.
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum Foundation is housed in the Permanent Exhibition Building (same opening hours) and visitors' expenditures support the Museum functions. Visitors can choose between books (in both Greek and foreign language), multimedia publications, clothing, stationary, home ware, works of art, replicas, children's gifts and various items of high aesthetic and unique style, all inspired or referred to the work of the author with absolute respect.