In late September 2017, the Benaki museum carried out an extraordinary publicity drive in London in an attempt to counter the ongoing criticism of its tenure of the house and progress with renovations. After a long period of silence, the Benaki came out with all guns blazing in an attempt to explain how things were now really moving with the house project.
Ms Geroulanou, a member of the Executive Board of the Benaki, explained the details of the bequest & went on to show glimpses of plans. The intention is to create five independent “units” including a work area and en-suite facilities to foster privacy, focus and creativity. A Common area will be centred on the “world’s room”. Winter will be a maintenance period; in the spring there will follow two months of academic residence; there will be two periods in the late spring and early autumn for “Honorary fellows” to use the house as the writers’ retreat that Paddy foresaw; in the summer, three months will be set-aside for holiday rentals, this forming the main part of the annual income.
The house will become known as The Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor Centre, and the Benaki plans to start a charity in the UK to create a dedicated endowment fund. patrickleighfermor.org (CP26-10-17)
The House of Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor - Trip Advisor For more background on the restoration see August Archive