Greek god Zeus and never before seen artefacts headed for Australia

A 400 kilogram statue of the Greek god Zeus along with 44 artefacts from the National Archeological Museum in Athens will be displayed in Melbourne Museum, Australia for its Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections exhibition, reports the Guardian.

Photograph: Christopher Hopkins/The Guardian

According to the media outlet, more than 20 Ancient Greek artefacts that have never left Greece will be on display including a marble sphinx statue – excavated at Spata, in Attica, in the 19th century.

The artefacts will be displayed thematically, guiding visitors through the ancient Greeks’ trading of ideas and goods and its influence on culture and date from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman period.

Linda Sproul, director of exhibitions and experiences at Museums Victoria, said the exhibit told “a story of cultural exchange between and across peoples and communities”.

“It’s actually looking at these objects afresh, to see what other stories these objects reveal in terms of how people lived with one another, and how they influenced one another,” she said.

“This idea of people journeying and exchanging ideas and connections and trading together or having spiritual belief together, that didn’t stop 3,000 years ago. So the really wonderful thing about exhibitions like this is it allows you a chance to kind of step out of time, and to think about all of the time that humans have been around, and how there are connections across years, and centuries and millennia.”

The Victorian  government secured Open Horizons following a trip by the premier, Dan Andrews, to Greece in 2017, which began the discussion with the previous government about improving cultural exchange between the two countries. The state government made a $2m investment in the exhibition in last year’s state budget.

Kalliopi Tsakri, conservator of antiquities and works of art at the National Archaeological Museum, said all of the artefacts were transported using rubber-lined crates to ensure they were protected from road and aeroplane vibrations on their journey from Athens.

Tsakri is part of the National Archaeological Museum’s team that travelled from Greece with the artefacts and has installed them in Melbourne.

The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and among the most prestigious in the world.

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