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Home> Destinations> Europe> Athens> See> Museums

National Archeological Museum

Updated: 2014-06-10 / (visitgreece.gr)

The fully renovated National Archeological Museum is one of the biggest and most remarkable archeological museums in the world. Its numerous and outstanding exhibits give you the opportunity to travel back in history. Without a doubt its treasures will mesmerize you and it is really worth to visit it more than once. If you are planning to visit it just once make sure you have plenty of spare time.

Some of the museum exhibits are:

Poseidon of Artemision. Is it actually the statue of Poseidon or Zeus? Archeologists keep on arguing on this. This bronze statue is a masterpiece of classical period sculpture art. Its height reaches 2.09 m and is one of the few original bronze statues preserved until now.

Zeus statuette. A statuette of Keravnovolos Zeus (Thunder-striking Zeus) found in Dodoni. The position of the god as he is preparing to strike the lightning is really remarkable. It is the same position as that of Poseidon of Artemision.

Dimitra and Persephone. This beautiful and well preserved bas-relief found in Elefsina was created approximately in the period of 440-430 B.C. It depicts Dimitra who offers wheat to Triptolemos, the young King of Elefsina. On Dimitra’s right side is the daughter if Persephone giving her blessings. Pay attention on the size difference between Triptolemos and Dimitra. The artists of that period, as a demonstration of their respect to the gods, were presenting gods taller than mortals when they had to depict both on a votive column.

Myrrini lecythus (oil-flask). It is the main exhibit of the homonym room 16. This particular lecythus, created from white marble, was discovered in 1873. It is decorated with a bas-relief that depicts Hermes holding the hand and leading somewhere a young woman called Myrrini. According to the inscription above her head Hermes intends to take Myrrini to Pluto (god of Addis- the place where all dead people were going). Three men, probably Myrrinis relatives, watch the whole scene (430-420 B.C.).

Igesous column. Do not miss to see the most famous preserved column (5th century B.C.). It was discovered in Kerameikos and at present its copy stands in the former location. The bas-relief depicts Igeso seated, taking a jewel from a box that her slave holds. It is believed, that the colors used for the relief’s background and the jewel were blue and gold respectively. The name "Igeso of Proxenos" is curved on the upper part of the column. Remarkable is also how skillfully the artist depicted Igesos melancholy as well as the pleats of her dress.

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