Gold cupid earrings with semi-precious stones, made on Delos, late 2nd to early 1st century BC.
The island of Myconos is internationally renowned as a summertime playground for the rich and famous. However, its history is vastly underrated and goes largely unnoticed by most of today’s visitors, which is a shame, because it boasts a rich past that can be traced to prehistoric times and which is closely connected to that of the other islands in the Cyclades group.
In an effort to rectify this situation, the island is gearing up for the inauguration of an exhibition which should certainly appeal to many of its cosmopolitan visitors. “Vanity: Stories of Jewelry in the Cyclades,” put together by the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades, offers a fascinating journey into the history of Cycladic jewelry from Neolithic times to the present.
“Through this exhibition, the ephorate’s aim, besides everything else, was to relaunch the renovated Archaeological Museum of Myconos as the center of the Cycladic islands, as well as a place to visit for those coming to the island,” said ephorate chief Dimitris Athanasoulis, who is also the exhibition’s coordinator. The renovation of the Myconos museum is a part of a broader effort to upgrade museums in the Cyclades and turn them into state-of-the-art showcases that will do justice to the historical and archaeological wealth that they house and address the needs of the modern visitor.
At the “Vanity” exhibition, which opens on Wednesday, August 10, visitors will able to browse a large number of impressive artifacts dating as far back as the 4th millennium BC, many of which are going on display for the first time, including bracelets, necklaces, armbands, earrings and anklets, among other pieces. All the items – which include pieces worn for purely decorative purposes as well as offerings discovered at sanctuaries such as Delos, among others – are made of precious or semi-precious materials and illustrate the exceptional techniques of local goldsmiths.
The local community has played a role in the exhibition’s organization through sponsorships and donations, while the show is taking place with the support of the Municipality of Myconos.
“Such an effort cannot bare fruit without the input of local authorities. They are the ones who will promote the show and who will assist us in our efforts to develop the museum’s new profile,” noted Athanasoulis.
“Vanity” will remain on display on Myconos for a year, before traveling to other Cycladic museums.