CULTURE

Temporary exhibition of Minoan treasures at the Museum of Iraklion

Just a month and a half before the end of summer – the peak period of the tourism season in Greece, including Crete – the temporary exhibition organized by the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion, in the Cretan capital, has opened. The museum building has already been closed for restoration as well as for restoration of its 15,000 important artifacts, a panorama of ancient Cretan art and civilization. Inaugurated by Culture Minister George Voulgarakis earlier this week, the temporary exhibit will be housed in a 350-square-meter building in which 400 of the 15,000 museum objects are on display, acting as representative samples of the 3,000-year-old civilization. Even halfway through the summer, those who took on the task of curating the exhibit succeeded in choosing characteristic objects from Cretan civilization, from Neolithic times up until the Roman Empire, with a special focus on the Minoan «miracle.» An effort was also made to include well-known and beloved masterpieces, such as the «Prince of the Lilies» fresco from Knossos (which was recently restored and open for viewing), as well as «Bull Leaping,» «La Parisienne,» the «Saffron Gatherers» and the «Blue Bird.» According to the current plan, the restoration of the museum building will cost 21 million euros and will be complete in October 2008. Visitors to Crete will have the opportunity to enjoy the entire exhibit from 2009 onward, when the museum will reopen.