In today’s poetry news round up we take a look at the Constantine P Cavafy archive which has gone on display and the renovation of the Du Fu Museu.
Constantine P Cavafy Archive Displayed in Athens
On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of his birth, an archive of the work of Constantine P Cavafy (Konstantinos Petrou Kavafis), one of the most important figures in Western and Greek poetry, has gone on display in Athens. Cavafy is widely considered to be the most distinguished 20th century Greek poet.
The archive, which houses over 2000 artefacts, will now be housed on a permanent basis in a house built in 1910 which is located in the Plaka district of Athens. Entry to the archive will be free to the public. The work which is contained within the archive was collected and archived by the poet himself in a very systematic way.
Included within the archive are poem manuscripts, printed editions which were hand-compiled, prose literary works, studies and a selection of notes by the poet and articles. There is also a good selection of his own personal correspondence, photographs, documents, and 966 books that were all part of his own personal library, paintings which referred to him and even some of his personal objects.
The exhibition will be split across three rooms, all of which will be very different. The first will contain all of Cavafy’s personal items, the second will be devoted to the relationship that he had with Athens and the third will be set out as a reading room.
The president of the Onassis Foundation stated that the archive had been collected by a professor specialising in Hellenic studies and had recently been purchased from one of his relatives. He further stated that the purpose of the museum was not to create a museum that was lifeless but rather one that offered a sense of the poet and his life.
The mission of the Onassis Foundation is to offer access that is free and open, not only to researchers but also to the wider public in terms of promoting the work of Cavafy and also the international character of his poetry via the digitisation and full re-documentation of the materials that are held in the archive. This digitalised version of the collection was completed back in 2019 and is available in both English and Greek and can be accessed via the museums website.
Du Fu Memorial Site Under Maintenance
A museum dedicated to the Chinese poet Du Fu in the Sichuan Province has recently begun a program of preservation and maintenance on it thatched cottage roof. The museum which is a replica of the poets former home is also the site of an exhibition dedicated to the life and works of the poet.
The cottage was built in 1997. The maintenance programme which began at the beginning of last week is scheduled to take around 20 days to complete and will involve the replacement of the roof with a new one. The last time that this was completed was in 2015.