Lavreotiki art project is a research oriented project that invited 12 contemporary artists to explore the cultural heritage (tangible, intangible and natural) of Lavreotiki.
For the reason that the region has a rich mineral substratum, mining became a central activity in the area, already before antiquity. In 500 BC the silver extraction funded the city-state of Athens and in the 19th century, Lavrion in Lavreotiki was the first industrial city of modern Greece. The exploitation of the mineral substratum had as an outcome the development of social arrangements and industries. Monuments and remnants are scarce in the region. Although, the district is unique for its mineralogical, geological, archeological and metallurgical sites, it is rather associate with the Lavrion port and the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. As a consequence, Lavreotiki’s cultural heritage remains somehow unwitnessed.
THE ΤΕΛΟΣ SOCIETY has created an online catalogue featuring the process of the research process. The catalogue includes the sites of exploration, essays and maps by the artists and rich visual material.
Read and download the catalogue HERE.
Lavreotiki, the SE area at the tip of Attica Greece, is a historical district, which is considered to be For the reason that its substratum is rich, mining activities in the area date earlier than antiquity. Monuments and ruins are abundant, offering evidence that the mining and metallurgical activities, which were intensive, gave rise to social and economic systems.
Despite the impact of the mining and metallurgical activities in Lavreotiki, Lavreotiki’s mining, metallurgical and geological history is unexplored and the district is mostly associated with the Lavrion port and the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. As a result, Lavreotiki is not widely known for being a cultural landscape.
Lavreotiki: Brief history
It is estimated that silver bearing ores were first extracted in 5000 BC in the site of Thorikos in Lavreotiki. Furthermore, during Classical times the city state of Athens was funded by the extraction of silver and lead. The overall worth of the silver and lead that was extracted from Lavreotiki in this period is $ 50 Billion. In the area, the Sounion National Park and Souriza’s valley are full of ancient monuments and ruins, which designate the level of sophistication in terms of organisation and technology.
For more than 1000 years As mentioned in literary sources, Starting in 200 BC mining and metallurgy in the district underwent a period of decline. The pause lasted until 1900. In 1860, the engineer-metallurgist and writer Andreas Kordellas evaluated the profitability of the ancient slags in Lavreotiki and in 1964, the Italian businessman J. B. Serpieri found the Italian - French company "Hilarion Roux et Cie". Soon, a disagreement concerning the ownerships and exploitation of the ancient slags arose between the company and the Hellenic State leading to the creation of two metallurgical companies. In 1873 "The Lavrion Metallurgical Company" and the French-Hellenic company named "Mines of Kamariza" were set up. In 1875, J.B Serpieri created "Compagnie Francaise des Mines du Lavrium" at the area of Cyprianos. The metallurgical companies transformed the city of Lavreotiki, Lavrion, into a contributed greatly to the industrialisation of modern Greece. Nevertheless, their operation affected
Lavreotiki’s landscape causing degradation and creating enormous heaps of mining debris.
Despite the mineralogical, geological, archeological and metallurgical significance of Lavreotiki, Lavreotiki is widely known dentified with the Temple of Poseidon, for being an entryway to the Cyclades and the Aegean Sea and for its recent industrial past. The ancient monuments and the geological significance of Lavriotiki are less known
The period of production will culminate in a group exhibition in the Lavrion Technological Cultural Park, which was the former French Mining Company (1875-1989).