CULTURE

Cataloging sculptures

Following the Benaki Museum’s expansion and the opening of new branches during the past year, the museum is now issuing a fully illustrated catalog, in Greek, that documents its Greek and Roman sculpture collection. The book makes known to the public an important part of the museum’s collection and reflects the institution’s extroversive policies that seek to draw more people into the museum and to make its collections accessible. Published in cooperation with Melissa Publications, «Greek and Roman sculpture, from the collections of the Benaki Museum» includes texts written by almost 30 specialists in the field of Ancient Greek and Roman archaeology and art history. It is structured chronologically, with the collection unfolding from prehistoric times to the Archaic period then moving on to Classical, Hellenistic and Roman times. This latter period is the most well-represented in the collection, with more than 70 sculptures in total as compared to the 14 sculptures that make up the prehistoric and Archaic periods. One piece after the other is fully analyzed, each in its own separate chapter. A general description is followed by a typological analysis, dating and a bibliography. The approach is scientific and the information included is comprehensive yet the text flows and is accessible to the layman. Adjacent to the text, each sculpture has been photographed from four different angles to offer a full and detailed view. The museum’s collection of Greek and Roman sculpture expanded during the past two decades, either through donations or purchases by the museum itself. Sculpture was only a small part of the original collection, that of the museum’s founder Antonis Benakis. A large part of the collection, particularly that of the Hellenistic period, consists of marble heads. Funerary stele, some of them in great condition and Attic lekythoi of the fourth century are some of the most impressive items in the collection.