Thematic exhibition

Greek Customs: 190 years of history

The history of the modern Greek state through its’ customs service

Greek Customs celebrate 190 years of life. Their constituent act issued in 1830 coincides with the year of international recognition of the independence of the modern Greek state. In fact, these two founding legal acts were published in the same issue of the General Gazette of Greece (No. 32 / Year ED, 26.4.1830). Customs have played, from the outset, a critical role in raising revenue to serve national purposes (war and politics) as well as in protecting security and public health, in monitoring the country's first borders and in combatting smuggling.

The exhibition comprises of service reports, letters and documents related to trade and commerce associations, correspondence between regional customs services and the central administration, postcards depicting customs buildings and wider facilities, statistics, records, legal texts, tax lists and publications related to international economic relations, from the revolutionary years and the Provisional Administration of Greece until the first decade of the 21st century.

The items highlight special aspects of the customs history and the operation of the Greek customs while illuminating broader aspects of Greek public administration, politics and economy. The case of customs history provides a useful case for studying public administration, and especially that of fiscal institutions and services.