CULTURE

Photography exhibition at the Goulandris

An exhibition on Greek flora since antiquity, «Flora Mythologica,» that opened yesterday at the Goulandris Natural History Museum’s Gaia Center in Kifissa. The exhibition has been organized by Helmut Baumann, under the auspices of the Swiss Archaeology School of Greece. For years Swiss botanists have been studying Greece’s collection of some 6,000 species of flora, the richest collection in Europe. For the ancient Greeks, nature was filled with divine beings closely connected with the mountains, trees, rivers and flowers. Healing herbs and their properties were the work of the gods, as were the scent of flowers and the richness of the fruits of the vine and the bow. Baumann, who has been an amateur photographer and student of Greece’s natural world for over 40 years, has taken a fresh look at Greek flora, linking botany with archaeology and mythology. The photographs are displayed in eight separate sections according to their reference to myths, medicine, art and the daily lives of the ancient Greeks. For example, the evergreen pine (Pinus halepensis) was the favorite tree of Rhea, the mother of the gods. The Greek fir tree (Abies cephalonica), found at altitudes of over 800 meters, was dedicated to Pan, the god of shepherds. The catalog and guide has 148 photographs and a presentation by Mark Manion, with a Greek translation by Sophia Kaempf-Dimitriadou. The exhibition, open from 9 a.m. till 2.30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. Sundays, lasts until February 25, 2007. For further details call 210.801.5870.