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An Eye-Catching Exhibition Filled with Ancient Greek Artefacts Is Heading to Melbourne This Autumn

Co-created and presented with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, 'Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections' will feature 44 ancient works dating back to the early bronze age.
By Sarah Ward
March 07, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
March 07, 2022
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What do Elvis Presley, Yayoi Kusama, Pablo Picasso and Ancient Greece have in common? In the coming months, all four will have items and objects on display across Victoria. Accordingly, if you're looking for an excuse to spend the cooler months in a museum or gallery, you have several — including peering at 44 ancient works dating back to the early bronze age.

Those historic pieces will hit Melbourne Museum courtesy of Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections, a new exhibition that's set to open on Saturday, April 23. Co-created and presented with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, the Australian-first showcase will feature pieces from the Greek organisation's collection — which happens to be the richest range of artefacts from Greek antiquity worldwide — all of which will be making an appearance Down Under for the first time.

In the case of two of the exhibition's big highlights — the gold Theseus ring, which dates back to the 15th century BCE, as well as a 2500-year-old marble sphinx that depicts a female head with the body of a winged lion — they'll make their debut outside of the National Archaeological Museum, too.

Also coming our way: a collection of artefacts depicting Greek hero Heracles, as well as pieces that date through to the Roman period.

Column krater, clay, Herakles slaying the king of Egypt, Busiris, and his attendants. B. Maenad and Satyrs. By the Cleveland Painter.Unknown provenance.About 470 BC. Credit National Archaeological Museum and Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. Photographer Eleytherios Galanopoulos

Overall, Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections will focus on not just Ancient Greece itself, but how the trade of ideas and goods influenced its culture — and how the Greeks also influenced the rest of the ancient world.

"Since antiquity, the Greeks have always followed the open horizons of the sea, constantly travelling to every corner of the world. Extroversion, broad-mindedness and cosmopolitanism, as well as the ability to embrace and utilise foreign influences in a creative and original way have been integral elements of Hellenic culture," explains Minister of Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports Dr Lina Mendoni.

Announcing the news, Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Crosswell said "we are excited to be collaborating with the National Archaeological Museum to bring some of the most remarkable artefacts direct from Athens for audiences in Melbourne to enjoy. This captivating exhibition will invite visitors to explore the cross-cultural connections that contributed to the formation of Ancient Greece."

Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections opens at Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton, on Saturday, April 23. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the museum's website.

Top image: One of a pair of antefixes Clay Representations of Chimaera and Bellerophon mounting his winged horse, Pegasus. From Thasos. 550-500 BC. Credit National Archaeological Museum and Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. Photographer Magoulas.

Published on March 07, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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