The Aikaterinis Laskaridis Foundation continues the work started in 1993 by the “Kaiti Laskaridou” Library, founded by Konstantinos Laskaridis in memory of his wife Kaiti, which was based in Neo Faliro.

After 13 years of continuous evolving, presence and contribution in Culture and Education, it was decided the relocation of the library to Piraeus, birthplace of Kaiti Laskaridou.

The transfer to Piraeus marked a new beginning, which was sealed with the establishment of the Aikaterinis Laskaridis Foundation. Its founders, faithful to the path set, continued and evolved its activities in order for the Foundation to become a beacon of culture and a treasure of knowledge open to everyone: children, parents, students, teachers, academics, researchers, people of all ages and social groups, without discrimination, without stereotypes.

Kaiti Laskaridou

Kaiti Laskaridou was born in Piraeus, where she grew up. She graduated from the American College for Women and studied Economics at the Piraeus School of Commerce. She married Konstantinos Laskaridis and they had two sons, Panos and Thanasis.

In the early 1950s, at the head of a group of women, together with her two sisters, Nafsika Limnaiou and Mina Tornarou, they founded the Neo Faliros Children’s Hospital, with the main purpose of caring for refugee girls from Romania, Russia and other Eastern countries. In 1955 she was elected to the Board of Directors of Y.W.C.A. Greece and for 30 years he served successfully and with dedication as a member of the Executive Committee, other committees, the Board of Directors and as its Vice President.

Her progressive spirit, social sensitivity, insight, dynamism and strong critical thinking remain important examples for us all. Wanting to honor Kaiti Laskaridou and her work, we gave her name to the Library and the Foundation to remind everyone of a woman whose endless passion continues to inspire to this day.

Marilena Laskaridis

Marilena Laskaridis was born in Athens to a Greek mother and an English father. She spent her early childhood years in England, while she completed her general studies in Athens. Multilingual, studied Advertising, Marketing and Copywriting. She married Panos Laskaridis and together they had three daughters and a son.

She worked in relevance to her studies until 1997, when she officially assumed the role of President of the “Kaiti Laskaridou” Library, whose headquarters were located in a neoclassical building in Neo Faliro. Since the official establishment of the Aikaterinis Laskaridis Foundation in 2007, she has been acting as Vice President and together with her husband and President of th Foundation, Panos, joined forces to create an intellectual organization dedicated to culture, education and shipping. She took special care in arranging the Library’s spaces, with the aim of being a welcoming place for researchers, students, pupils and all young people, in whose potential she firmly believed.

Marilena Laskaridis, head of the Foundation’s scientific team of collaborators, was realizing her big dream of implementing free educational programmes for students of all levels. Her dream did not stop there and traveled the Library and its programmes to the schools of fire-damaged, hard-to-reach and economically weaker regions of Greece, to the Second Chance schools of the prisons of Eleonas, Thebes, Avlona and Korydallos, as well as to the Romani camps through special programmes. She equiped school and municipal libraries, while supervising educational programmes, seminars and workshops which were also provided free of charge to teachers. Her contribution and active action for a number of years in social and humanitarian organizations was important.

Marilena Laskaridis respected and valued family institutions. A great Mother, and not only to her children, a rare companion and friend, the soul of her family and the Foundation, left us prematurely in August 2015, leaving behind an unfilled void. A charming visionary, fighter, sensitive and generous, the ever-smiling Vice-President of the Foundation managed to transmit her genuine passion for giving and creating to her partners, her “second family” as she said, who continue the journey following her footsteps…

A timeline


The Kaiti Laskaridou Library is founded in Neo Faliro by Konstantinos Laskaridis in the memory of his late wife Kaiti. Marilena Laskaridis is appointed President of the Library.


The yearly Kaiti Laskaridou Literary Competition is inaugurated. Eligible to apply are all Secondary Education students of the prefectures of Piraeus, Cyclades and Dodecanese.


The first book by the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation is published. It is the monograph “Andreas Miaoulis (1769 – 1835):  From enslaved to free Greece”. Since then, the publishing activity of the Foundation has continued uninterrupted.


The offices of the “Kaiti Laskaridou” Library are relocated to a neoclassical building in Piraeus, on 169, Praxitelous and Bouboulinas Str.


The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation is established by Presidential Decree, with the signatures of the Ministries of Education, Culture, Shipping and Finance. Its founders are Panos and Marilena Laskaridis.

The body of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee is formed. The member of the Academy of Athens and Professor of the University of Cambridge Athanassios S. Fokas is elected President of the Committee.


The renovation and restoration of stone Greek lighthouses begins. The first renovated lighthouse is that of Cape Tainaron (Matapan), with the Lighthouses of Cape Maleas (2009) and of Dana, Poros (2011), to follow.

The first educational programmes of the Foundation are presented in schools outside Attica, specifically in schools of the fire-afflicted areas in the Peloponnese.

The archive of Kostoula Mitropoulou, the first one of the Foundation’s collection, is donated.


The Foundation’s new building on 36, 2nd Merarchias and Aktis Moutsopoulou Str. opens its doors. Widely known as the Stringos mansion, the building for years has been the headquarters of the French Institute in Piraeus.

The Library’s Maritime Section is organized.

The Foundation starts a cooperation with the City University London, hosting in its premises the University’s LLM in Maritime Law.

The operation of the Foundation’s Reading Club begins.

The Foundation, in collaboration with the Maritime Museum of Greece, presents the exhibition “Konstantinos Volanakis: The Poet of the Sea”, at the Maritime Museum.


The Foundation’s Maritime Collection is presented to the public for the first time.

The digitization of old and rare publications and archival material relating to lighthouses begins.

The Agreement of Cooperation between the libraries of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, the Eugenides Foundation and the University of the Aegean is signed; the creation of the Triangle of Maritime Libraries is decided.


The Foundation acquires the Library of Baron Leo Delwaide, one of the most important libraries internationally in bibliography and scientific periodicals on the subject of International Maritime Law.

The Social Solidarity Programme is implemented; in cooperation with the Municipal Welfare Service of Piraeus and the Doctors of the World (MDM) is responsible for providing meals to minors from families facing serious financial problems.


The Historical Library of the Aikaterinis Laskaridis Foundation is established, which includes archives and libraries donated to the Foundation by important personalities of Letters and Sciences. The Historical Library is constantly enriched until today.

The 1st National Literary Competition in memory of Kaiti Laskaridou, addressed to Secondary Education students, is announced. From then on, the Competition is held annually.


The Lending Library is relocated to a new building on 173 Kountouriotou Str.

The design and the first stage of the implementation of the Foundation’s independent website Travelogues – Travellers’ views is completed, aiming to make known the graphic materials found in travel accounts of journeys to Greece and the eastern Mediterranean from the 15th century onwards.

The 1st National Competition in Violin – Ismene Chrysochoou-Karter and Georgios Karter Scholarship is held, awarding a scholarship for postgraduate violin studies abroad. The Competition will be held annually, awarding a new scholarship every year.

The Foundation’s Library celebrates its 20th anniversary.


The permanent exhibition of the works of the diaspora painter Dimitris Perdikidis is being inaugurated, on the occasion of the kind donation and loan of the painter’s works by Leonidas and Denise Perdikidis.

The website Travelogues – Travellers’ views is released to the public. The material of the website is constantly enriched.

The underwater archaeological research program “Return to Antikythera” begins, with the Foundation’s support.

The Stringos Mansion is being renovated, with the aim of hosting the Historical Library and the Maritime Collection of the Foundation. On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the renovated building opens its doors to the public for the “Return to Antikythera” event.

The Foundation undertakes the complete repair, maintenance and commissioning of the Open Sea Vessel ΠΑΘ/ΛΣ 050, as well as the complete repair, maintenance and activation of the patrol boat ΛΣ 133. 

The Aikaterinis Laskaridis Foundation and the families of Panos and Thanasis Laskaridis donate the boat “Kyknos” to the Hellenic Navy. The vessel is mainly used for the training of Naval Cadets.


The Historical Library of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, is inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

A Memorandum of Understanding is signed with Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.

A Memorandum of Understanding is signed with the Hellenic Navy.

A Memorandum of cooperation is signed with Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The 1st National Poetry Competition “George N. Carter” is announced. 

The naval exhibition with letters and items of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, part of the Foundation’s Maritime Collection, is exhibited at the Maritime Museum of Crete, at the Firka Fort at the harbor of Chania.

A conservation lab for books and paper is organized and established within the Historical Library.

Marilena Laskaridis, the heart and soul of the Library, passes away suddenly.


The application and website ToposText – Greek literature in its landscape go live.

The Foundation participates in the internationall Congress of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for the 2,400 years since the birth of Aristotle with an exhibition of incunables and early printed editions of Aristotle from the Historical Library.

The temporary exhibition “Nelson and his times” is organized at the Palace of the Grand Master, in the Medieval City of Rhodes, with exhibits from the Foundation’s Maritime Collection.

The temporary exhibition “The Antikythera Shipwreck – New archaeological discoveries” is inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic.

Tsinghua University in Beijing organizes a book exhibition with items from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation Historical Library, entitled “Greek Language: The Roots of European Civilization”, and a seminar with Professor G. Babiniotis, called “Greek Language: Driver of Western Thought”.

An exhibition titled “The Greek editions of Aldus Manutius and his Greek collaborators (p.1494-1515)” with Aldine editions from the Historical Library is organized a the Marciana Library in Venice.

The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, in collaboration with the Museum of the City of Athens / Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation, organizes a series of lectures and themed tours in central Athens.

The Panorama Cultural Society donates its rich archives to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.


The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation and the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens co-organize the international conference “Opening up private and religious libraries to scolarship”, within the framework of the annual conference of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL). At the same time, the exhibition “Incunabula. Aspects of Early Greek Printing” is presented, showcasing books from the collections of the Foundation’s Historical Library.

The collaboration with the University of Amsterdam begins. The Foundation is funding the Modern Greek Studies Chair, renamed the “Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies”. Professor Dr. Maria Boletsi, Assistant Professor at the University of Leiden is appointed as the professor of the Marilena Laskaridis Chair.

An exhibition of new findings from the underwater research at the Antikythera shipwreck is hosted at the Foundation’s Historical Library.

The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation becomes 10 years old.


The Historical Library’s catalogue is transferred to the new Public Electronic Catalog (OPAC), supported by the Koha open source cataloguing programme.

In December 2018, the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation and the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens present TravelTrails: Missions and Explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1500- 1830 (

The Velimezis Icons Collection is donated to the Foundation by Christos F. Margaritis, Emilio F. Margaritis and Alexandros G. Makris.

The Symposium “Second Nature. Marine Plastic Waste – Blue & Circular Economy – New Technologies” is organized with the participation of Greek and foreign scientists and experts in environmental issues, circular economy and technology. At the same time, the exhibition “Second Nature – A New Life” is held.


The colloquium “One Book, Six Centuries of History. Editions from the dawn of printing in the libraries of Athens” is held. The colloquium is accompanied by an exhibition of selected editions from the Foundation’s collection.

The two-day seminar “China, Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean” is organized in collaboration with Tsinghua University of Beijing.

The fruit of the collaboration between the National Library of Greece and the Greek Libraries Network with the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation is the 2019 Summer Reading and Creativity Campaign entitled “Imagine…”.

The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation in collaboration with the Historical Archive – Museum of Hydra organized a large exhibition with works of Konstantinos Volanakis, the father of Greek seascape painting.

The Foundation participated actively in the 85th World Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) on ‘Libraries: dialogue for change’. The Historical Library hosted the IFLA Satellite Workshop “Doing Research in Real-World Settings: Telling Your Story and Evaluating Programs through Social Science Research”, while the Foundation actively supported Greek librarians, covering the cost of participation at the conference for 90 people.

The 1st Literary Competition in memory of Marilena Laskaridis for Secondary Education students of all Greek schools abroad begins.

The archaeological research at the Antikythera shipwreck begins again, with the support of the Foundation, giving very important findings.

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, inaugurates the permanent exhibition “Faith and Art. Selected Icons from the Emilios Velimezis Collection”.

The Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), establish the Centre for China Studies, with the aim of strengthening scientific and cultural links between the two countries. The first joint event of the Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is the conference “Greece-China relations and the Belt and Road Initiative”.