Real Ancient Greek Art in Macau

More than 130 Ancient Greek Art from the Louvre Museum will be presented in Macau next year.

Currently on show in Beijing's Capital Museum the items are taken from the Louvre's Greek, Etruscan, and Roman collection. The exhibits cover life, religion, and the celebrities of Ancient Greece. Well-known items like statues of Aphrodite and Aries are also on display. Most of the pieces, including a selection of ancient Greek vases, sculptures and terra-cotta figurines, left the Paris museum for the first time.

"It's a very great chance for Chinese people to know about another great ancient culture - this time from Greece. The Louvre usually lends less than twenty items at a time. But, for this exhibition, we have secured more than 130 front-line items, presenting an all-round view of ancient Greece." remarked Guo Xiaoling, the curator of the Beijing Capital Museum.

The exhibition is touring Asia since last year and was previously exhibited in Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan. From Beijing, which opened this month and will run until early November, will move to Singapore, from 12 of December to 16 of March, and the whole set will make its last stage in Macau Art Museum from Apil 2008 on. While the Classical Greek and Hellenistic Art rooms at Paris's Louvre Museum are being refurbished.

In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., Greece was said to have been at the peak of its creativity. Greek culture in those years, from the start of the Greco-Persian Wars to the death of Alexander the Great, is called the Classic period, and the exhibition aims to explore ancient Greek culture through artworks from this period.

"While ancient Greek art sometimes seems to have been deified, and while scholars obsess about minute questions of style, this exhibition is an attempt to draw a bigger picture of the period from a broader point of view", said Jean-Luc Martinez, during the Japanese exhibition, the Chief Curator at the Department of the Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities at the Louvre, which holds 45,000 items.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: Classic-period Athens, life in ancient Greece, sporting spirit in ancient Greece, and gods and religion. Also featuring a new take on the depiction of women in Greek myth. Exhibits include painted pottery that depicts a weaving woman in a section on ancient Greek life, and various Aphrodite sculptures in the gods and religion section. Aphrodite was a goddess whom the Romans later called Venus. According to Martinez, the ancient Greeks believed that she dated from the creation of the universe, her role being to connect the different parts of the cosmos.

Other items on show include a wide variety of pieces, from masterpieces such as the Venus of Arles, a sculpture once displayed at the Versailles Palace, and the Ares Borghese, which Napoleon purchased, to unique items such as a pitcher illustrated with images of owls, a symbol of Athena, goddess of wisdom. The lineup also includes works made in ancient Rome that imitate Greek art.

After the introduction of Greek Mythology two years ago in a themed Casino the real Greek art can be finally seen in Macau.

CAPITAL MUSEUM IN BEIJING [with pictures but only in chinese]

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