All across Greece, museums, galleries and culture hubs have had to re-frame their best-laid plans for celebrating this year’s big bicentenary milestone with a bang. In case we haven’t mentioned it enough, 2021 marks 200 years since the Greek Revolution that led to the birth of the Modern Greek state.
The Museum of Cycladic Art has rallied back from pandemic restrictions with an excellent new micro-site that manages to capture, in virtual format, much of the beauty, energy and symbolism of its on-site exhibition about this defining era of Greek art and history.
“Archeology and Philhellenism” connects the dots between the western world’s adulation of classical Greece and their subsequent active support of Greece’s struggle for independence from four centuries of Ottoman rule, in the movement known as Philhellenism.
The Cycladic Museum’s extensive exhibition places important European works of the 19th century and Greek Neoclassicism in conversation with authentic ancient masterpieces from major Museums of Italy and Greece, such as the Capitoline Museums of Rome, the National Archaeological Museum of Venice, the National Archaeological Museum (Athens) and the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon.
Visitors to the new micro-site can take an immersive 18-minute guided tour of the premises, (with English sub-titles), hosted by art historians, Dr Fani-Maria Tsigakou and Professor Nicholas Stampolidis, (to the swells of Mozart).
You’ll also get a good peek inside the museum’s stately Stathatos Mansion, a neoclassical residence built in 1895 on the designs of renowned architect Ernst Ziller – and in itself a splendid emblem of Greek architectural Neoclassicism.
Prefer the DIY approach? Take the virtual tour to digitally explore at your own speed all the objects and exhibits on display, complete with explanatory texts and descriptions (also provided in English).
Finally, you can drill down to your favourite objets d’art (paintings, panoramic wallpaper, sculptures, porcelain, etc.) in another section of the site that itemises everything at close-range – or visit the Cycladic Museum e-shop to snap up your own piece of “Freedom Art”.
P.S. If you happen to find yourself at the Athens airport’s Arrivals Level before the end of April, you can also see a taster of this poetic exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art’s pop-up exhibition there!