A modern art museum in Greece opened its doors to dogs on Sunday in an initiative to promote stray animal adoption.
Dogs and their owners got to view works at the EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens for free to celebrate World Stray Animals Day on Tuesday.
Visitors were required to follow certain rules and guidelines, including vaccinating their dogs, keeping them on a leash, and taking responsibility in case of accidents.
The museum, in general, has a pet-friendly policy and organized the event with the Socrates Shelter, which is dedicated to the welfare of homeless animals in Athens. The museum wanted to raise awareness about the plight of stray animals and encourage visitors to consider adopting a pet.
Volunteers from the shelter walked around with puppies who are currently staying at the shelter and who are looking for their new families.
The museum’s artistic director, Katerina Gregos, brought her dog, Éclair, to the event and emphasized the importance of allowing pet owners to visit museums with their animals.
“Dogs in particular suffer extreme stress and separation anxiety when they are separated from their owners so the initiative of making the museum pet friendly is to be able to give pet owners the opportunity to come to the museum and not to leave their animals alone for many hours during the day,” Gregos said.
The event was a success, with many pet owners expressing their happiness and excitement about the opportunity to bring their dogs to the museum. “Art is a living thing, so I think being able to bring your dog, to bring your life here, is fantastic,” said Vana Antonopoulou, a pet owner who visited the museum. “I think more museums could follow this example.”
Jordan Theodoridis, another visitor, echoed Antonopoulou’s sentiment, saying, “We were long waiting for this day, not specifically for this museum but in general, that dogs are allowed in museums because if they are well-behaved, it is easy, and it’s very comfortable for ourselves.”
“I think my dog also feels very happy that she’s been here, and that feeling makes me very happy, and I feel very nice that we can share that feeling together,” the 19-year-old Manto Keramida said.