National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens

copyright 3SK Stylianidis Architects

Ten or 1,000 minutes inside the reopened institution.

Athens can at last boast about having something other than the biggest debt problems in Europe: a fresh addition to its cultural landscape. And for once this museum won’t house a stock of ancient rocks but rather a cutting-edge contemporary collection.

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, or EMST, will reopen in late 2014 in a hulking former brewery just south of the Acropolis, with more than 75,000 square feet of exhibition space. Founding director Anna Kafetsi, a former curator, magazine editor and critic, has made the museum’s unofficial mission twofold: First, to lionize homegrown talent such as the late Vlassis Caniaris and the Athens-born, New York–based artist and architect Andreas Angelidakis; second, to champion video and digital art, with a collection that includes pieces by Bill Viola, Bruce Nauman, Mona Hatoum and Marina Abramovic. The new complex will feature on-site labs that can process artists’ digital work. Allow an entire day to peruse the sprawling collection properly; otherwise, just take a ten-minute stroll around the building to gawk at its vast bulk. At Kallirois Ave. and Amv. Frantzi, 117 43;