The National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens (EMST) was founded in 1997 as a non-profit Legal Entity by Private Law, supervised and subsidized by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. The Museum began its operation in 2000, when it acquired the first artworks of its collection and the first temporary exhibition took place.
The history of the Museum has been defined by its nomadic course. From 2003 until 2008, the EMST held exhibitions and activities at the Athens Concert Hall, the Athens School of Fine Arts and in public spaces. As of September 30th, 2008, it was hosted in sections of the building of the Athens Conservatory. Meanwhile, the necessary steps were being taken to properly establish its permanent premises, the former Fix brewery on Syngrou Avenue, in order to meet the specifications of a museum of contemporary art. Its reconstruction was completed in February 2014.
In May 2015, the Museum moved to its permanent location, while the following year, the museological and museographical studies were approved by the Council of Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. From October, 2016, until January, 2019, EMST operated the temporary exhibition spaces, educational programs, screening room and the museum shop. In this context, it presented a significant number of exhibitions and other activities including conferences, publishing presentations, film, dance and musical performances and promotions.
Vital to the creative continuity of EMST was the approval of a €3,000,000 grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in July 2018, which enabled the completion of the works necessary for the Museum to operate to its fullest potential. This grant helped the Museum carry out the formation of its exhibition spaces and prepare and transport its permanent collection. In addition, SNF supported the procurement of essential equipment contributing to the establishment and upgrade of various Museum spaces, including the Media Lounge, the Conservation Laboratory, the Library, the Art Archive, and the Screening Room.
In February 2020, EMST opened fully operational to the public. Constantly expanding its work, the Museum welcomes the public to discover the world of contemporary art.