ODYSSEYS AT THE NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Source: National Archaeological Museum
It attempts to give an account of the adventurous journey of man through time considered from an abstract and symbolic perspective that draws its inspiration from the Homeric Odyssey. Without reciting the mythological epic of Homer the exhibition is inspired by the archetypal character of Odysseus and recounts through the emblematic, as well as the lesser-known ancient works of the National Archaeological Museum, the long chronicle of the beleaguered man, his incessant endeavour to tame his environment, conquer new places, broaden his horizons, establish well-governed societies and fight against the perishable nature of his existence with the aid of love and creative act.
One hundred and eighty-four works that come either from the permanent exhibition or the rich in archaeological material storerooms of the Museum’s Collections and six loans, three from the Epigraphic Museum and three from the Acropolis Museum, are presented in an enchanting sequence of cultural stratification, enabling the visitor to discern the differentiations and changes and simultaneously detect those elements that reside and remain unaffected in time and constitute the shared imprint which man has left on the centuries, the ages and the civilizations.
Three thematic axes run through the exhibition narrative:
The Journey presents tangible evidence of the ceaseless quest of man for raw materials, knowledge and ideas. Τhe variegated cargo of a conceptual ship and the myths that accompanied the sea journeys of ancient people create an allusive environment of adventure and knowledge. Ithacas are inspired by the homecoming (nostos) of Odysseus and devoted to the homelands of all people. Ecumenical ideas and concepts are exemplified by works that embody the collective effort of societies to ensure development and prosperity, as well as the urge of human existence to defy its perishability. In the Exodus, ancient creations symbolically demarcate great achievements of the human mind and spirit inviting each one of us to pick up the torch of creativity.
The music for the exhibition is by courtesy of Vangelis Papathanassiou from his works “Ithaca” and “VOICES – Dream in an Οpen Place”. The Eugenides Foundation offered the equipment, while the National Theatre provided the theatrical costumes. For the realisation of the exhibition of uppermost importance has been the generous donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.