Biography: Marie Vergottis


Marie Marinidis was born in 1914 in Smyrna (modern day Izmir in Turkey). Her family was among the more than one million Greek refugees who were forced to flee Smyrna during the devastation of the 1922 catastrophe. Her parents relocated to Athens and  being people of culture and refinement ensured that Marie and her brother received the very best education possible.

In 1938 Marie Marinidis married George R. Vergottis. She was a very devoted wife and spirited companion to George. Her intellect, wit and humour, combined with her elegance and beauty, gave her a sparkling presence that fascinated those around her.

She was a lover and supporter of the arts - particularly music - and had an immaculate taste and flair for beauty which made her an important collector from a young age. She built up an exquisite collection of Chinese porcelain which was donated in its entirety to the Fondation de l'Hermitage in Lausanne, Switzerland.

After the death of her husband, Marie Vergottis implemented her husband's vision and desire to create a Cultural Centre in Kourkoumelata Kefalonia, by establishing in 1976 theGeorge and Marie Vergottis Foundation.  The series of generous bequeaths she left behind, beyond honoring her husband's memory, further underline the grace with which she lived - her lifelong trademark.

Marie Vergottis died in May 1999.