Published: December 7, 2004
Beginning December 10, the Onassis Cultural Center will present “Alexander the Great: Treasures from an Epic Era of Hellenism,” an exhibition featuring a variety of rare Macedonian artifacts including portraits of the legendary Greek king in the form of ancient marble heads, bronze statuettes, medallions and ancient coins.
Highlights of the exhibition will include the Acropolis Museum’s classic Athenian-style marble bust of Alexander, thought to be the work of the sculptor Leohares; a unique equestrian statuette, depicting the Macedonian king on his fabled horse Bucephalus, from the Napoli Museum, Italy; and a marble portrait of Alexander dating from the 3rd Century BC found in Pella, the capital city of ancient Macedonia and Alexander’s birthplace.
The exhibition – which presents many of these objects to the public for the first time – also features sections on weaponry, symposia or social gatherings, and Macedonian women and will be on view at the Onassis Cultural Center through April 16.
Another highlight will be a collection of rare artifacts recently excavated in Vergina from the tomb of an ancient queen known as “The Lady of Aigai.” These finds – including gold plates, golden fibulae, an ornate set of matching gold jewelry and decorations from a dress – attest to the lavish lifestyle of the ancient Macedonian noblewomen.
The exhibition sheds light on the legend of Alexander the Great and explores the historical and cultural context of this celebrated figure in Greek history. During his reign, Alexander united the warring City States of Greece, conquered the Persian Empire and expanded the reign of his empire to the borders of India. Modern historians consider the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC, as the event that marks the beginning of the Hellenistic period of ancient Greek history.
“Alexander the Great” seeks to examine the legacy of this renowned leader by presenting portraits of the man himself and highlighting his cultural and historical context through the material artifacts of his time.
The exhibition is curated by Dimitris Pandermalis, professor of archeology at the University of Thessaloniki, an expert on the subject of Alexander the Great and the president of the executive committee of the International Foundation of Alexander the Great.
The center, in the Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, entrance on 51st and 52nd streets, is open 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday. Admission is free. For information, www.onassisusa.org.
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