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Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections

A slice of Ancient Greece is coming to Australia, with 44 works and artefacts dating back to the early bronze age on display at Melbourne Museum.
By Sarah Ward
March 14, 2022
By Sarah Ward
March 14, 2022

What do Elvis Presley, Yayoi Kusama, Pablo Picasso and Ancient Greece have in common? In 2022, 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.

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.

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.

Top image: 'Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections' at Melbourne Museum, installation shot by Tim Carrafa.

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