DEC 2019



Closing of the Temporary Exhibition «The countless aspects of Beauty» at the National Archaeological Museum

Fig. 1. View of the temporary exhibition «The countless aspects of Beauty» - Units «Aesthetica Aeterna» and «The beautiful and the desirable» (© National Archaeological Museum/Fund of Archaeological Proceeds).
Fig. 2. View of the temporary exhibition «The countless aspects of Beauty» - Unit «Focusing of the body» (© National Archaeological Museum/Fund of Archaeological Proceeds.)
Fig. 3. View of the installation with the recreated perfumes of antiquity, based on the ingredients recorded on the Mycenaean Linear B tablets (© National Archaeological Museum/Fund of Archaeological Proceeds).
Fig. 4. View of the touring exhibition «The countless aspects of Beauty», at the Silversmithing Museum, Ioannina (© Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation).
Fig. 5. Presentation of parts of Mycenaean garments reconstructed by the American researcher, Bernice Jones, in the context of the experimental archaeology projects organized by the National Archaeological Museum (© National Archaeological Museum/Fund of Archaeological Proceeds).

The temporary exhibition «The countless aspects of Beauty», reaches the end of its successful staging on Sunday, 8 December 2019. It formed the last part of an exhibition trilogy that was designed to pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of the National Archaeological Museum, since the foundation of its emblematic building. The trilogy was inaugurated in 2015 with the opening of the exhibition «A dream among splendid ruins…”. Strolling through the Athens of Travelers, 17th-19th century», that, among other things, shed abundant light on the cultural environment from which arose the need for the founding of the National Museum, and continued with «Odysseys», an exhibition that captured conceptually and symbolically the diachronic endeavor of humans to create and evolve. In the Countless Aspects of Beauty, three hundred and forty antiquities out of the rich collections of the National Archaeological Museum, in combination with contemporary digital footage, offered an exciting aesthetic journey, pursuing the expression of beauty, as a never-ending human need, from the Neolithic period right through to historical times.

In the course of its 18-month duration, a total of more than 950.000 people visited its rooms, commenting with enthusiasm upon the high aesthetic value of the exhibits, but also upon the optimized means of display. A special place in the exhibition, was assigned to the world of fragrance, giving for the first time the chance to the visitors to experience a special, sensory contact with antiquity through olfaction. A fragrance of rose, sage and coriander was reborn, on the basis of the ingredients that are recorded on Linear B tablets from the palace of Pylos, in collaboration with Korres Natural Products Company. The exhibition was accompanied by a scientific catalogue in the Greek and English language, a publication of the Fund of Archaeological Proceeds.

At the same time, the similarly titled touring exhibition “The countless aspects of Beauty” travelled from February 2018 to September 2019 to the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) Network of Museums, attracting a total of about 80.000 visitors. The exhibition fulfilled the role of a National Archaeological Museum satellite in the Greek periphery, providing the opportunity to the local societies to view part of its unique collections. The selection of antiquities from the NAM collections, focused on the thematic identity of each of the hosting PIOP museums.

A multitude of educational and communication activities accompanied the temporary exhibition of the National Archaeological Museum, enriching the quest for Beauty in various imaginative ways. In the workshops and presentation of experimental archaeology that were organized, scientists and artisans from all over Greece and abroad, contributed their special knowledge in explaining to the visitors their experimental approaches to the craft of weaving in the Neolithic period, the garment in the Aegean in the second millennium B.C. and the Mycenaean costumes. At the same time, quite a variety of educational programs for schools of primary and secondary education and leisure-time programs, were organized as much for children as for adults. Artistic workshops, programs of creative writing and careful aesthetic analysis through observation, were just a few of the approaches that were employed, while events of theatrical readings and music offered an experiential viewing of the idea of Beauty, as this is portrayed in the ancient Greek literature.

Although the interest of the public for the temporary exhibition “The countless aspects of Beauty” never ceased and, in fact, led to the extension of the initially scheduled one-year duration, the moment has come for it to give place to a new series of temporary exhibitions that the National Archaeological Museum will present in the following months, in order to pay tribute to the important historical anniversaries of the biennium 2020-21: the 200 years since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution and the 2500 years since the battle of Thermopylae and the sea battle of Salamis.

The exhibition “The Countless Aspects of Beauty was funded

by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the donations of

the National Bank of Greece, the «Hellenic Petroleum»

and «the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation».


We extend our warmest thanks to all of these institutions for their valuable assistance




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