If you can’t get to Greece, this is the next-best thing

Open Horizons: Ancient Greek Journeys and Connections at Melbourne Museum.

This superb exhibition is a bit different in tone because, unlike the Canberra show, it has come directly from Greece. This is important to note, specifically as we are operating in a contested time in museums and galleries, thinking about the true home of objects plundered and stolen.

Statue of a Sphinx
Statue of a Sphinx. Picture: Museums Victoria

The Melbourne exhibition is touted as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see extraordinary objects drawn from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. It’s an accurate declaration, as many are here for the first time outside of Greece. The National Archaeological Museum was the first established in Greece following independence and is home to the world’s richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity.

Open Horizons brings 44 objects from that collection, and if you know a thing or two about exhibition insurance and freight, you will know that this is a major feat. They tell an extraordinary story of Ancient Greek history, a much better way in which to learn about history than through dry books. The exhibition explores the truly cosmopolitan nature of the Ancient Greeks, how the trade of ideas and goods influenced Greek culture, and how their sophisticated culture influenced the ancient world and beyond. We owe the Ancient Greeks a great deal.

An attic red-figure column krater
An attic red-figure column krater. Picture: Museums Victoria

The items featured are of course more than objects; they were touched, used, and exchanged by real people, and in their presence, we are transported to another time. They include a colossal marble head of the god of sky and thunder, Zeus (which weighs in at 400kg and is 77cm high) and a 2500-year-old Archaic sphinx that has never before left the National Archaeological Museum, found in 1879 that still has remnants of the original color decoration – extraordinary.

There is so much more – vases, statues, and precious artefacts. The Open Horizons exhibition is on until August 14 and is accompanied by myriad programs. Young fans of fantasy hero Percy Jackson will revel in it all.

A marble head of Zeus
A marble head of Zeus. Picture: Museums Victoria

This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com

About the author


Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.


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