An­cient Cy­cladic art trav­els to Athens air­port

Kathimerini English - - Focus - CHRISTINA SANOUDOU

Newly ar­rived­vis­i­tors 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-and­com­ing 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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