National Archaeological Museum Marks 150 Years with Odysseys Exhibit, Athens Greece-Greece is.

Year of celebratory events culminates with the highlight, the Odysseys exhibition which launches this week and runs for one year.

Omaira Gill | October 4th, 2016

The latest event in the National Archaeological Museum’s (NAM) 150th birthday celebration is an exhibition titled “Odysseys”. The exhibit was inaugurated on October 3, 2016 by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos who hailed the contribution of the NAM to humanity’s creations. “150 years after its foundation, the National Archaeological Museum celebrates with aunique trip through the history of world culture through the millennia, with a focus on humanity and the fascinating ‘Odysseys’ of its perpetual path to creation,” said Pavlopoulos said his inauguration speech.

“Odysseys” is the main commemorative event being held this year to celebrate the NAM’s anniversary. 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.

A total of 184 works that come either from the permanent exhibition or the archaeological material storerooms of the museum’s collections and six loans, three from the Epigraphic Museum and three from the Acropolis Museum, are richly presented in a sequence which allows visitors to follow the journey of mankind’s imprint over the centuries, the ages and the civilizations. The works are set out in a blue and white-themed room, with visual effects to recreate the sea across the floor on which the exhibits stand. Information is provided to visitors in both English and Greek.

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Audio visual tools include the symbolically charged poetry of C. P. Cavafy, G. Seferis, O. Elytis and Y. Ritsos while 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 and the application of the starry sky that Odysseus was looking at on his return to Ithaca from the island of Kalypso, while the National Theatre provided the theatrical costume of “Oedipus the King”. Finally, the donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation was a vital factor in realizing the exhibit.

Housing the richest collection of artefacts from Greek antiquity, the museum’s influence has reached far and wide, with collections having been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in Japan. The NAM is considered a highly respected point of reference for most of the world’s great museums when it comes to ancient Greek civilization.

The museum’s creation was first announced on April 27, 1866, by the Chief Guard of Antiquities Zissis Sotiriou who referred to the new institution as a new “Museum of all Greeks”. The foundation stone was laid by King George I on October 3, 1866, though it would take another 23 years for the museum to be finished.