The newly rebuilt Polygyros Archaeological Museum (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Πολυγύρου) was inaugurated on Sunday 24 March 2019 and is finally open to the public again. Although only a fraction of its large collection of ancient objects is currently on display, it is hoped that the exhibition can be expanded by 2020.
First opened in May 1971, it is the largest and most important museum in Halkidiki and houses archaeological finds from sites around the peninsula, including ancient Stageira
, Aphytos, Ierissos, Olynthos, Pyrgadikia, Sane, Stratoni and Toroni. Exhibits illustrate human occupation of the area through the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods.
The museum was closed in 2011 for renovation and the building of a large extension, originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013. However, the reopening was postponed several times and then suspended indefinitely. The cause was lack of funds, mainly due to the Greek economic crisis. Although the building itself was completed, not enough of the budget remained for the fixtures and fittings for the display of the museum exhibits (see Museum BOOM
at The Cheshire Cat Blog).
In December 2017 the Society of Friends of the Archaeological Museum of Polygyros (Η Εταιρεία Φίλων του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Πολυγύρου) was founded by museum staff, local people and other interested individuals and organizations in cooperation with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Chalkidiki and Mount Athos. Fundraising for such projects in Greece at present is an almost impossible task, but due to the determination and hard work of the society they have now managed to raise sufficient funds through donations and sponsorships to reopen part of the museum.
The current exhibition is titled "Ioannis Lambropoulos Collection: A collector and an archaeologist from the past in a conversation about the future" (Συλλογή Ιωάννη Λαμπρόπουλο: Ένας συλλέκτης και ένας αρχαιολόγος από το παρελθόν συνομιλούν σε χρόνο μέλλοντα), as a tribute to the antiquities collector Ioannis Lambropoulos 
and archaeologist Charalambos Makaronas 
. The substantial Lambropoulos Collection, consisting of around 1,000 artefacts from Polygyros and surrounding areas, was donated to the museum in 1995 by his son Iraklis Lambropoulos.
Despite the importance of the museum to historical research as well as local culture and tourism, the reopening has so far received very little publicity, being reported mainly by local media. The best report I have found so far is by the Orthodoxia News Agency, which also provides some background information on the Lambropoulos Collection and the current state of the museum as an institution:
Εγκαίνια Αρχαιολογικής Συλλογής στο Μουσείο Πολυγύρου
(Opening of the Archaeological Collection at the Polygyros Museum), 26 March 2019. At the Orthodoxia News Agency.
We wish the staff of the museum and members of the society the best of luck in their endeavours, and hope that the relevant authorities in Thessaloniki, Athens and Brussels are taking notice.
, 9 June 2019