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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Greece
A dream among splendid ruins…Strolling through the Athens of travelers

Α colossal head of Zeus (2nd century AD), a finding of Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Α colossal head of Zeus (2nd century AD), a finding of Temple of Olympian Zeus.
A dream among splendid ruins…Strolling through the Athens of travelers: 17th-19th century
ATHENS  •  National Archaeological Museum  •  Ongoing
This exhibition was designed to provide an imaginary stroll through monumental Athens between the 17th and 19th centuries. Our companions on this stroll are the European travelers who undertook the "Grand Tour" to the capital city of Hellenism and who, inspired by the movement of Classicism, recorded the "splendid ruins" of its historical past. Twenty-two illustrated travel publications and twenty-four original works of art — oil paintings, watercolors, and engravings from the Library collections of the Hellenic Parliament — offer landscapes, images, monuments, and specific moments from the Athens of travelers, feeding our imagination and setting starting-points for our own, personal readings. Thirty-five marble sculptures from the National Archaeological Museum, many of them presented here for the first time, converse with the travelers' works, complementing their charming narrative of the city's monumental topography. The museum experience is supplemented by music from the travelers' homelands as well as by Greek music such as that recorded by the French composer and music theorist L.A. Bourgault-Ducoudray during his visit to Athens in 1874-1875.

The cultural environment in which European traveling flourished was directly linked to the intensification of the study of classical antiquity and systematization of archaeological research. Integrated into the same context is the formation of the first private archaeological collections and archaeological museums in Europe, as well as the dark side of traveling -the "mania" for antiquities and their plundering-, both of which increased the awareness of the newly-formed Greek state and led to the establishment of a national policy for the protection of antiquities and creation of archaeological museums.

National Archaeological Museum Website

Contact: National Archaeological Museum
44 Patission Street
Athens (Prefecture of Attiki)
Tel: (30) 210 8217724

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