On the fifth floor of the building located at number 4 on Amalias Avenue in Athens (next to Syntagma Square and across the Parliament), there used to be one of the most famous Athenian houses of the 20th century: the residence of Aggelos and Leto Katakouzenos. Once a prominent salon littéraire – a reference point for artists from around the world – it faded into oblivion after the death of its owners and has been recently brought back to life as a home museum through the efforts of Ms Sophia Peloponnissiou.
Aggelos Katakouzenos was born in 1904 in Lesvos island to an upper-middle-class family of timber merchants. Despite his traders’ background, he decided, at an early age, to dedicate his life to psychiatry, inspired by the sight of a woman who, perceived as “possessed”, remained chained in the yard of a monastery, exposed to unkindness and prejudice. He studied in France where he forged some of the strongest bonds of friendship that were to accompany him throughout his life and, in 1932, he returned to Greece where the implementation of psychiatry was still at incunabula. Shortly after his arrival, he met Leto, his future wife, and they got married two years later with an unconventional – at the time – ceremony which included only a handful of friends and a bride dressed in an unusual, dark-coloured garment. [Read more…]