National Archaeological Museum
ΕΘΝΙΚΟ ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΟ ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 8.00 – 20.00
Admission: Full €10, reduced €5 | Special ticket package – Full: €15, reduced €8
(Valid for National Archaeological Museum, Byzantine & Christian Museum, Numismatic Museum and Epigraphic Museum)
The young nude male is shown standing in a frontal pose, supported by the entire sole of his left leg; the right leg, bent at the knee, is set obliquely towards the right and withdrawn, with the two inner toes resting on the ground. The figure raises and extends diagonally the right arm while the left arm is lowered, relaxed, and close to the body. His head is inclined strongly to the right, without focusing his gaze on the object he once held in his right hand. The short hair has wavy, overlapping curls, which are rendered with particular detail and plasticity.
The "Antikythera Youth" has been variously interpreted as Apollo, a "Learned" Hermes holding a caduceus and declaiming, Heracles with club or lion-skin, a victorious athlete holding as prize a lekythion, a sphere, a wreathe, a phiale, or an apple. The figure has even been considered the funerary statue of a young man.
Scholars are divided between two most prevalent views: The first identifies the figure as the Argive hero Perseus, displaying in his right hand the head of the Gorgon Medusa, grasping her by the hair, and holding in his other hand the adamantine harpe (sickle) with which he beheaded her. This interpretation is based on comparable scenes on vases, but above all on coins and ring bezels from Roman Argos. However, the sculpture is missing requisite identifying elements such as the chlamys, winged sandals and Hades' magical Helm of Darkness, which made the hero invisible.
The second view identifies the Ephebe as the Trojan hero Paris, holding the Apple of Discord in his extended right hand and the bow - symbol of the slaying of Achilles - in his left. The second interpretation focuses on the characteristics that make up the multi-faceted nature of Paris as a judge of the goddesses, lover of Helen, and slayer of Achilles. However, the absence of basic identifying elements of the hero, including the spear, the mantle (chlamys) and Phrygian cap, is surprising.
The statue, which is widely regarded as an original, dates to the decade 340-330 BC. But its attribution to a specific artist finds scholars divided. An artist from the circle of sculptor Scopas from the island of Paros, or the sculptor Euphranor from Corinth (whose works, however, are characterized by influences from Attica) are among the candidates. At any rate, the majority of scholars, who consider the "Antikythera Youth" a work of the Argive-Sicyonian school of successors to Polykleitos, would prefer to attribute it the Sicyonian Kleon, a sculptor of the "third generation" of the school's artists, on "the road towards Lysippos".
The museum contains approximately 11,000 masterpieces dating from the 7th millennium B.C to the 5th century B.C which are classified in 7 collections: Prehistoric (Neolithic, Cycladic and Mycenaean antiquities), Sculptures, Bronze, Egyptian Antiquities of world-wide importance, Stathatou, Vases and Miniatures and Cypriot. In addition, the Museum also holds temporary exhibitions and educational programs.
The building of 8,000 sq. m., houses the following collections:
The Prehistoric Collection, consists of unique works of the great civilizations that flourished in the Aegean from the seventh millennium BC to 1050 BC: objects from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age from mainland Greece, the Aegean islands and Troy, the enigmatic Cycladic marble figurines and sculpture, the treasures from the royal tombs at Mycenae, the Linear B tablets, and superbly preserved wall-paintings from the prehistoric settlement at Thera of Santorini.
Grave stele (h. 1,56 m., w. 0,97 m.), made of Pentelic marble, found in 1870 in the ancient cemetery of the Kerameikos and dated 410-400 BC. An Athenian lady seated on a chair, her feet resting on a footstool, looks at some jewelry held in her raised right hand, originally rendered in paint. Opposite her, a sorrowful standing attendant holds an open jewelry box. According to the inscription on the epistyle, the deceased is Hegesso, daughter of Proxenos. Her imposing appearance, along with the magnificence of the family grave plot, to which the stele belongs, indicate her noble origin. It is an exquisite work, attributed to Kallimachos.
Within a short distance from the National Archaeological Museum you may check Meliá Hotel Athens. A 4-star hotel, it features a rooftop restaurant with stunning views of the Acropolis. All guests enjoy free access to its health club, outdoor pool and hot tub. The nearest metro station is at 50 m. Guest rooms are soundproofed, have A/C, and are decorated in earthy tones with sycamore furniture and paintings signed by contemporary Greek artists. They feature a minibar, satellite TV and free WiFi, and marble bathrooms with jet shower cabins or spa baths. On the top floor, the free-access, health club includes a sauna and hamam. Facilities include a lobby bar serving Mediterranean flavors, drinks and wine, while Sky Lounge Rooftop Dining Bar, offers a variety of flavors and spectacular views.
click on this link: http://www.latsis-foundation.org
| Walking Tour: National Archaeological Museum |
Visit one of the world's great museums, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens on this three-hour private walking tour.