April 29: 159 years since the birth and 89 years since the death of the great Alexandrian poet, Constantine P. Cavafy, the Onassis Foundation announced that it is undertaking the restoration of the Cavafy House in Alexandria in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.
Starting with the acquisition of the #CavafyArchive ten years ago, its digitization and its opening to the public and researchers, the Onassis Foundation supports the work of the Hellenic Cultural Foundation in Alexandria, so that the House of C. P. Cavafy can become a cultural pole for visitors from all over the world.
The Cavafy House – or Cavafy Museum – in Alexandria was inaugurated in 1992 thanks to the initiative of the historian and writer Kostis Moskof (1939-98). The apartment is empty, as all of Cavafy’s personal belongings had been moved to Athens, still it remains full of his thoughts and poetry.
The street where the Cavafy Museum is located was called Lepsius in Cavafy’s time, but was later renamed C.P. Cavafy, in honor of the Greek poet. The building was surrounded by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Greek Hospital and the city’s brothels, which Cavafy called the “Temple of the Soul”, the “Temple of the Body” and the “Temple of the Flesh”.
Cavafy was born in 1863 and has been a well-known and recognizable poet since the time he lived. Alexandria was then a cosmopolitan city, known, among other things, for its vibrant nightlife, but also an important center of Greek publishers. “Letters” magazine was one of its most important Greek publishing houses.