Ancient Cycladic art travels to Athens airport

Ancient Cycladic art travels to Athens airport

Newly arrived visitors from abroad will soon have a chance to admire artifacts and figurines from the early Cycladic civilization before they even arrive at their final destination, probably on one of the Greek islands. That’s because starting Thursday, July 27, the exhibition space on the second floor of Athens International Airport will be hosting a mini-version of the tribute “Cycladic Society 5,000 Years Ago,” which was first presented in 2016 for the 30th anniversary of the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens.

As the stone figurines are too valuable to be transported to the loud, high-traffic environment of Greece’s biggest and busiest airport, the show will comprise high-quality photographs of the 191 objects in the museum’s main collection: statuettes of human figures and other artifacts that help tell the story of the Cycladic civilization, which flourished mainly the early bronze age.

Among them are figurines and small statues of elders raising a cup to make a toast, a bride, or a voluptuous female figure, most likely used for worship or even as an expression of admiration. Through these items, visitors can catch a glimpse of what life was like during that time, what people did to earn a living, what tools and furniture they had, and how all of these things played a role in shaping this ancient civilization.

The exhibition, titled “A Trip to the Cycladic Civilization,” also underscores how the simple forms and geometric shapes so typical of Cycladic art has such a profound effect on the work of major proponents of the modernist movement like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

The exhibition further includes a four-minute film written and directed by the Cycladic Art Museum’s director, Nicholas Stambolidis, who also narrates. The collaboration with up-and-coming filmmaker Georgis Grigorakis and the Haos Film production firm of award-winning writer, producer and director Athina Rachel Tsangari and Maria Hatzakou, practically guarantees that it will be much better than the films typically seen at museums and staying within the narrow boundaries of simple information.

“A Trip to Cycladic Civilization” exhibition will run through December 31. Admission is free and as the exhibition space is before the security checkpoint, it is open to people who are not traveling as well.

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