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WIN: Auckland Museum to host acclaimed British Museum exhibition

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This two-metre-long fragment of the marble Halikarnassus Amazon frieze was originally part of a 140-metre-long frieze that ran around the upper part of the podium of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.

The highly anticipated international exhibition Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes, postponed from 2020, opens today Friday June 10 exclusively at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The exhibition is the largest selection of classical world artefacts ever loaned by the British Museum to New Zealand, curated from the British Museum’s extensive collections of Ancient Greek culture. It will showcase a wide range of treasures and stories and featuring a selection of iconic sculptures, including a frieze from the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos, one of the seven wonders of Ancient World.

“With over 170 objects, it will be one of the most significant exhibitions the British Museum has toured to Australasia,” says Dr David Gaimster, chief executive of Auckland War Memorial Museum.

“We are thrilled that we can finally bring Ancient Greeks to Auckland after a two-year delay.”

This exhibition comes to New Zealand for the first time after Covid-19 delays have had an impact on touring exhibitions across the globe. Logistical challenges in bringing international exhibitions to Australia and Aotearoa during the ongoing pandemic, prompted the rescheduling of Ancient Greeks, which now opens today.

The exhibition, curated by the British Museum’s Dr Peter Higgs, explores the theme of competition through sports, politics, drama, music and warfare through dozens of artefacts from Ancient Greece.

Ancient Greek civilization has had a profound and sustained influence on the development of language, politics and philosophy, along with science, the arts and architecture around the globe. Artistic, physical and intellectual competition pervaded society and this exhibition asserts that competition can also act as a cohesive force, resulting in creativity and innovation.

Key objects in the exhibition include iconic black and red-painted vases featuring athletes, gods and warriors; stunning marble and terracotta, statues and reliefs; bronze figurines; arms and armour; toys and games; fine gold jewellery and coins.

A masterpiece of the exhibition is the 2-metre-long fragment of marble frieze that details a battle between Amazon warriors and Greek soldiers. This would have originally been part of a 140-metre-long frieze that ran around the upper part of the podium of the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.

“The objects have enlightened our understanding of the Ancient Greek world and have been brought together to tell a unique story for this exhibition,” Higgs says.

“This exhibition will enable Aucklanders and visitors to the city the opportunity to get up close and explore a unique range and quality of treasures never before seen in New Zealand” says Dr Gaimster.

“I know audiences will be mesmerised by the astonishing craftsmanship of the ceramics, sculptures, armour and jewellery featured in the show.”

With the support of Auckland’s economic development agency, Auckland Unlimited, this exhibition will allow Aucklanders to experience a world-class exhibition in their own backyard.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to this exhibition, to explore Ancient Greek culture and lives through these magnificent and rare objects,” says Gaimster.

The presentation of Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes is a collaboration between the British Museum, the Western Australian Museum, National Museum of Australia and Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum, with support from Auckland’s economic development agency, Auckland Unlimited and Singapore Airlines.

Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes comes exclusively to Auckland Museum and opens on Friday 10 June 10, 2022. Tickets are on sale from aucklandmuseum.com Auckland Museum Membership, with three options to explore, provides unlimited free entry to Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes, discounted event tickets and exclusive member-only events. Find out more here.

<BULLET>WIN: Be in to win two double passes to Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes Visit HERE . Two random entries will each win a double pass. Entries close Friday June 17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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