WDEC 2022 in Athens

The First Cemetery of Athens
Students of the University of West Attica will introduce you to the conservation profession and its contribution to the protection of cultural heritage.

Involving the youth

The First Cemetery of Athens has become a classroom, an amphitheater, a laboratory. Visits from Universities took place throughout the academic year 2021-2022. In this context, the First Cemetery of Athens became a place of teaching and practical training for students of the Department of Preservation of Antiquities and Works of Art of the University of West Attica. Their study concerns the documentation of the most important types of surface damage, causes and effects, as well as the establishment of a preservation management system.

From theory to practice (in situ)

“Mother of the Occupation period” statueFrom 3 to 5 June 2022, during the Week of Discovering European Cemeteries (WDEC), students of the University of West Attica will carry out surface cleaning and conservation of the sculpture "Mother of the Occupation period” in the central square of the First Cemetery. Visitors can watch live and get acquainted with the profession of conservator and his contribution to the protection of cultural heritage.

This initiative and collaboration not only benefits the monuments. It mainly promotes the systematic contact and interaction of young people with cultural heritage, as well as the development of skills and critical thinking for the sustainability of the cemetery landscape.

About the “Mother of the Occupation period” statue

“Mother of the Occupation period” statueThe “Mother of the Occupation period”, made by Costas Valsamis (1908-2003), is a bronze sculpture that refers to the death from starvation during the years of the Occupation in Athens (1941-1944). The image of the dead mother lying on her back, skeletal, with her baby on her chest, was a real scene that the sculptor experienced in the winter of 1941. 

The mention of this tragic moment in an expressionist style in the cemetery is a monument of the sufferings of that period, but also of Motherhood. It was installed in 1979.


City of Athens / Department of Cultural Heritage
T: +30 2103721596, 2103721555
E-mail: t.pol.klironomias@athens.gr