I went to the New Acropolis Museum

5 Dec

Which I had resisted doing for a long time because its ideological project annoys me.  (See link to older post below.)

Instead, it was just kinda meh…

Painted Caryatides

The building is much more impressive than anything else; it really doesn’t contain anything that the old one on the rock itself didn’t have, except, of course for the Caryatides of the Erechtheion, a cool bookstore and a nice rooftop bar with a view of the Sacred Rock across the way.

What I did find most interesting, though, is a new section they had on the painting of ancient Greek statues, which was the only section where photographs were unfortunately not allowed.  Some fairly large segments of statuary of the old Parthenon burned by the Persians, which the Athenians then used as rubble to fill in the foundations for the new one, were found on the Acropolis, so they lay buried for centuries with their painted surfaces largely protected.  They had a whole exhibit of the colorings used and the materials they made them from and then had some of the faded painted pieces displayed next to new reproductions.  It was not unpleasantly disconcerting to realize that most Greek temples probably looked more like a Hindu mandir inside than the pristine white marble elegance we like to imagine.

The cheap papier-mâché copies of the Elgin pieces that are in the British Museum were ugly, and instead of defiant and indignant, just looked childish, like — as I’ve said before — Miss Havisham in her yellow wedding dress and her moldy cake spitefully waiting for the groom who will never come.

See:  Why the Elgin Marbles and not the loot of 1204?


Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com



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