From the 25th of November 2010 to the 19th of May 2011 Hellenic Cosmos hosted an exhibition of 160 coins. It was only a very small sample from the Coin Collection of the Foundation of the Hellenic World, which includes more that 13,000 coins and was purchased from the German collector Karl Eduard Reinhard Donat on the 29th of November 2007. It is the fourth largest coin collection from Asia Minor in the world. The rarest and most representative coins have been selected for the exhibition.
The presentation of the coins is based in the illustrations on the coins, on the obverse (front side) and reverse (back side), as we all as to the information we can draw from these illustrations. The coins are exhibited in ten showcases, each one dealing with a specific subject matter.
The newly acquired numismatic collection of the Foundation of the Hellenic World was purchased on November 29th 2007 from the German collector Karl Eduard Reinhard Donat. The collection was built up by three generations of collectors from the same family in accordance with the European humanitarian ideals of the 19th and early 20th century. As relics of the past the coins have a close association with ancient Greek history and the civilisation of the Hellenic cities and kingdoms.
The collection of 13,689 coins and objects consists of 12,854 ancient Greek coins, dating from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, 254 Byzantine coins, 320 Byzantine lead seals, 104 arabo-byzantine coins of the Artukid dynasty, 99 seals and weights and 58 small objects.
The coins represent most of the regions of the ancient Hellenic world, from present-day France to Egypt, with emphasis on the Black Sea area and Asia Minor.
The Foundation of the Hellenic World decided to purchase this collection not only to repatriate an important part of the the country's cultural heritage but also because of the particular geographical focus of the objects, which coincides with the areas of Hellenism in which the Foundation aims to specialise.
Most of the coins on display in the exhibition are rare, and they cover a geographical area from Thrace to Mesopotamia.
The Foundation of the Hellenic World is delighted to make this collection available to the public. It has already created educational programmes, and photographs of individual coins in the collection can be found on the Internet at coins.ime.gr. The Foundation will also welcome, by appointment, individuals who wish see coins from specific cities which are included in the collection.
A permanent exhibition of the collection at "Hellenic Cosmos" is in the course of preparation. The collection is already accessible to the academic commiunity, and it will be published in full in the international numismatic series Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum.
FHW has published the catalogue of the exhibition, with information about the history of the collection, a presentation of the exhibits per showcase and a scientific recording of the 160 coins of the exhibition.