Nikolaos Stournaris

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Nikolaos Stournaris (Greek: Νικόλαος Στουρνάρης) was a 19th century Greek Benefactor[1][2].

Stournaris was born in 1806 in Metsovo, Epirus, son of Demetrios Stournaris and Stamatini (Stamo) Tositsa. After completing his basic education in Greece, he migrated to Livorno Italy to work for the brothers Tositsa, who were his uncles (his mothers brothers). After a short stay, his uncles sent him to Paris for business studies. After completing his studies in Paris, he settled in Alexandria, intitially helping his uncle Michael Tositsa. Soon after, he became the General Manager of the Tositsa Emporium, the largest trading house in Egypt.

He had numerous interests, travelled all over Europe and learning on the way. In his last visit to Greece in 1846, he bought large parcels of land in order to commence agricultural projects, not just for money but also to teach young farmers the latests techniques. He was also involved in discussions with the Government of the day for the creation of a railway line that connects Piraeus with Athens, the commencement of shipping lines to connect Piraeus with the islands, plus numerous other projects. It was about 1850, when Stournaris decided to widen his benefactor interest. With his uncle Michael Tositsa, he established a school in Metsovo, and contributed financially for the creation of an orphanage and an eye-clinic in Athens.

After his 1846 visit, he married Maria (a distant relative?) and 1850, his only child was born named Irene.

Just after 1852, he returned to Greece to pursue his interests in Agriculture. He had big plans and ideas, unfortunately,he died unexpectedly in Chalkida, October the 10th, 1852, age 46.

His death, was just the start of his big plans and charity work. In his will, which was read in Parlament December 23th, 1852, he left a significant proportion of his money for charity works which included the schools of Metsovo and Alexandria. One third of his wealth was left for the Polytechnic Institute[3] in Athens.

References

  1. Η Ελλάδα των ευεργετών. Published by the Greek Newspaper, (Greek) Ημερησία.
  2. Αρχεία Εθνικών Ευεργετών. τεύχη Α' - Στ', Athens, 1929-1960
  3. Ιστορία του Εθνικού Μετσόβιου Πολυτεχνείου. Αθηναι, εκδ. ΕΜΠ, 1957.