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Emblematic Ancient Greek Artefacts Travel To Australia

ancient Greek AustraliaGold cup decorated with the repoussé technique (reverse side hammering), featuring a seascape, from Midea (Dendra) Argolis. 1500–1300 BCE. NAM, Π 7341. Credit: National Archaeological Museum/M. Kontaki

A collection of 44 emblematic ancient Greek artefacts from Greece’s largest museum will be exhibited in Australia from 23rd April to 14th August.

The significant ancient Greek works of art traveled from the National Archaeological Museum (NAM) in Athens to the Melbourne Museum under the auspices of the Museums of Victoria and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

“The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through Ancient Greece exploring how the trade of ideas and goods influenced Greek culture, and in turn influenced the ancient world”, the Melbourne Museum says of the upcoming show.

Ancient Greeks as travelers

Designed as a themed exhibition, “Open Horizons – Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections” pays homage to the travelling habits of the ancient Greeks.

“The Ancient Greeks were great travellers. They set their gaze across the sea early in their history. Living on a mountainous strip of land in southern Europe surrounded by islands, their strong maritime focus led to many contacts with distant and diverse peoples”, the NAM explains.

Grecian Delight supports Greeceancient Greek AustraliaMarble statue of a sphinx, from Spata, Attica. 560–550 BCE. NAM, Γ 28. Credit: National Archaeological Museum/El. Galanopoulos

Many of those exhibits, such as the impressive marble Sphinx depicting a female head with the body of a winged lion, are never before seen outside of the NAM.

A video posted on the Greek museum’s Facebook page shows the arrival of Antinous-Osiris, a statue of a Greek God of the Nile of monumental dimensions, to the Melbourne Museum.

“The imaginary thread that runs through the exhibition underlines the life-giving influence of other populations and civilizations on the ancient greek identity.

“The exhibits illustrate the Greek trade diaspora and the war turbulences, the prosperous greek colonies abroad and the foreign communities in the greek mainland, the indigenous religious beliefs and the incorporation of new cult elements”, the NAM notes.

ancient Greek AustraliaAttic red-figure column krater depicting the Greek hero and demi-god Herakles who attacks Bousiris, king of Egypt. Circa 470 BCE. NAM, A 19568. Credit: National Archaeological Museum/El. Galanopoulos

An objective reading and evaluation of the past with the aim to invite the visitor to new paths of the mind, “Open Horizons” constitutes a penetration to the global cultural grand scheme of today; air transports, new technologies and internet are the new communication channels around the world promoting intellectual refreshment and cultural openness, rearrangements and reformations.

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