Last updated on April 30th, 2021 at 07:36 pm
In Benitses there was the Corfu shell museum with one of Europe’s largest collection of shells and other marine species, it was housed in a building on the highway at the entrance of the village as we enter from Corfu, but from 2015 onwards moved in a lobby of Potamaki hotel.
The museum was a gem for Benitses, not only because it was one of the few of its kind in Greece but also because the rich collection consisted of very rare and beautiful marine species, some of which claimed Guinness awards due to their rarity and beauty.
The museum and its exhibitions
Created by the diver and collector Napoleon Sagias who enriched the museum with rare findings collected during his 20 years traveling in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, diving and collecting shells.
The museum’s collection was huge, as important exhibits were the shell Kypraia foultoni, the shell Melo Amphora, the HALIOTIS IRIS from Zealand of the most beautiful in the world, TRIDACNA GIGAS the largest in the world. But also other poisonous shells, rare starfish, small and large stuffed fish, rare sharks, piranhas from the Amazon, many crustaceans, and others.
There were shells from Australia, the Philippines, the islands of Samoa, Fiji, the coral reefs of Australia, and other places.
Shell “Kypraia Foultoni” (Cypraea Fultoni) of the Cypraeidae family was one of the rarest in the world, it was purchased by Mr. Sagias in Mozambique from a fisherman who found it in the belly of a fish.
Shell “Melo amphora” of the “Volutidae” family was perhaps the largest in the world, was found in Rosemary Island at Dampier archipelago north of Australia.
In the museum, there was also a blue shark fished by a fisherman in the waters around Athens.
The maritime museum has been honored for his contribution and internationally prized by the Italian Institute of marine research I.R.E.D.A.
Besides tourists, frequent visitors to the museum were schools from all over Corfu and the rest of Greece.
The Shell Museum is permanently closed
We are sorry to announce that Mr. Sagias had passed away a couple of years ago, 2018, and his relatives couldn’t keep the museum open, so the Sea Museum is permanently closed and all its exhibitions have been sold.