The Municipal Art Gallery is housed in an old three-floor building (it belonged to Halim Bey) and it is a typical sample of the local architecture. This impressive mansion is located in Epano Skala area. It hosts one of the most valuable art collections, which George Simos- Petris and his sister Eli Simou dotated to the Municipality of Mytilene. George Simos-Petris was one of the most outstanding art critics in the country. He was a lover of fine arts and a close friend of the greatest Greek artists. After his death he donated his collection which includes 110 paintings (August 1998), while the collection was completed by the recent donation of his sister, Eli Simou. (September 2001).
Today Petris’ collection, which is exhibited in the Municipal Art Gallery, includes 138 paintings, rare engravings, books and gravures. Among the others, the visitors can view works of G. Tsarouchis, G. Gounaropoulos, A. Protopatsi, Or. Kanelis, Picasso, Matis, Morales, Fassianos, Chr. Botsoglou, as well as Vasso Katrakis’ engravings and a series of paintings of other well-known Greek artists.
Apart from Petris’ important collection, the gallery hosts important works of artists from Lesvos such as S. Axiotis, G. Gavalas, G. Perros, I. Moutzourelis, S. Athinaios, K. Messinezi, M. Kalipolitis, D. Karapiperis and others.
As far as the operation of gallery is concerned, on the ground floor of the mansion, an atelier for painting restoration has been organized. Petris collection has already been restored, while the gradual restoration of the other paintings is expected.