In the history of the Modern Greek visual arts, the Macedonian Centre of Contemporary Art and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art represent a remarkable achievement of individual initiative.
It all started in 1978: In a conversation between Maro Lagia and Alexandros Iolas, after the latter had shown a keen interest in the damages inflicted on the monuments of Thessaloniki by the 1978 catastrophic earthquake, Maro proposed the creation of a contemporary art centre in Thessaloniki. Iola’s response was immediate –“Oh yes, no more hospitals and orphanages; a centre of contemporary art; that’s exactly what Thessaloniki needs.”
In the meantime, a group of friends, almost all lovers of art, gathered at the Dambassinas family farm outside Thessaloniki to avoid the aftermaths of the earthquake, discussing the problem of the damaged monuments, referred to the prospect of creating a contemporary arts centre, missing from the city. A member of the group, Argyris Maltsidis, city councellor at the time, mentioned the relevant case of the Skopje Museum which was founded after the 1963 earthquake and for which there had been an international appeal to artists for support and donations of works of art.