Vergina display enriched

The underground museum in northern Greece where graves associated with King Philip, father of Alexander the Great, and other Macedonian royals were found 26 years ago reopened to the public yesterday after an eight-month interval, with significant additions to the finds on display. Visitors will now be able to see inside a tumulus, in place of the earth mound that covered the fourth-century BC graves, the pick of the rich funerary gifts and grave furnishings interred with members of the Macedonian royal family. The artifacts – including an 11-kilo gold casket and luxurious arms and armor – were originally exhibited in the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, from which the first batch was returned to Vergina in 1997. Together with the finds, archaeologists restored to the mound the bones of a man generally assumed to have been Philip II (382-336 BC). «In my opinion, this is the most attractive and the most important exhibition currently on show in Europe, not to use a broader geographical comparison,» Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos enthused yesterday.

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