Exhibition of Greco-Roman Antiquities:
"The Return of the Gods--Berlin's Hidden Olympus"

The Antikensammlung Staatliche Museen (Collection of Classical Antiquities) has opened an important new exhibition based upon its antiquties collections. It will run until April 10, 2010. Important figures of the Greek and Roman pantheon are presented in Berlin, showing their art historical development and cultural context: as votive offerings, adornments in public spaces and buildings or fixtures in Roman villas and gardens.

The National Museums in Berlin are commemorating the return of museum pieces from the Soviet Union to Berlin which took place in 1958. To also mark the occasion, the Collection of Classical Antiquities is placing 170 art works on display which, for restoration purposes, had had to remain in storage until now. The sculptures, vases and craftwork objects represent thousands of art works which came back to Berlin after 13 years of exile in Moscow and St Petersburg. Most significant of all is the frieze of the world-famous Pergamon Altar.

In a joint project with the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, important images of deities have been restored and, in 2006-7, were very successfully displayed in São Paulo and just outside Rio de Janeiro. The most important figures of the Greek and Roman pantheon are now to be presented in Berlin, showing their art historical development and placed in their cultural historical context. The figures include votive offerings in the shrine, adornments of public spaces and buildings, and fixtures in Roman villas and gardens.

The Collection of Classical Antiquities Museum contains Greek and Roman works, not only architectural remains, sculptures and vases, inscriptions and mosaics, but also bronzes and jewellery. It displays holdings in two locations: the Pergamon Museum and the main floor of the Altes Museum, Museumsinsel Berlin-Mitte. With mor than 850,000 visitors annually, the Pergamon Museum ranks among the most popular buildings of the state museums. Its main attraction is the Pergamon Altar (2nd century BC). The frieze depicting the battle between the Gods and Giants is regarded as a masterpiece of Hellenistic art. The next room to the south contains the market Gate of Miletus, an outstanding example of Roman architecture.

Exhibition hours are 9am-6pm Sunday through Wednesday; 9am-10pm Thursday through Saturday. Visitor Entrance for the exhibition is at Pergamonmuseum, Am Kupfergraben 5, 10117 Berlin. For more information contact the museum at +49 (0) 30 - 2090-5577 or visit the website at http://www.smb.spk-berlin.de/smb/kalender/details.php?lang=en&objID=10803&p=0&typeId=10. Catalogue and tours available. Partial wheelchair access.

(Posting date 04 October 2009)

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