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5th-century BC statue of Athena arrives in Palermo

Palermo (Italy) – The statue of the Goddess Athena arrives in Palermo from the Acropolis Museum of Athens and will be exhibited for four years at the Regional Museum A.. Salinas Regional Museum for four years. The precious artefact, which dates back to the 5th century B.C., will be accompanied by the Greek Minister of Culture and Sport, Lina Mendoni, and the director of the Athens Museum, Nikolaos Stampolidis, who will hand it over to the Sicilian Region, in the presence of the Regional Councillor for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity, Alberto Samonà, and the director of the Salinas Museum, Caterina Greco. The Undersecretary for Culture, Senator Lucia Borgonzoni, will be present for the occasion.

Entrusting this remarkable archaeological find to the Salinas for four years is one of the results of the close cultural cooperation agreement between the Councillor Alberto Samonà and the Greek authorities. On the basis of the memorandum of understanding signed between the two museums, the fragment of the Parthenon frieze (the so-called “Fagan find”) arrived in the Greek capital last month, and from the Salinas Archaeological Museum it reached the new Acropolis Museum in Athens. A moment, which was celebrated in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
The headless statue of Athena, 60 cm high, is made of Pentelic marble. It depicts the goddess, dressed in a peplos marked by a belt worn around the waist. She wears a narrow aegis arranged transversely across her chest, originally decorated with a gorgon in the centre, now lost. The figure bears the weight of his body on his right leg, while his left arm is probably resting on a spear; the supple pose and the soft, enveloping rendering of the clothing are typical of the Attic style of the last twenty-five years of the 5th century BC, influenced by the models of the Parthenon sculptures. This is the first time that the famous Athenian museum has brought to Sicily, for a long-term exhibition, an original testimony to the history of the city that has profoundly marked the entire Western culture with its art.
The permanence in Palermo of the sculpture belonging to the collections of the Acropolis Museum constitutes the starting point of the synergy started between Sicily and Greece: a turning point, which will have positive effects on the regional cultural offer, thanks to initiatives that will be jointly organised between the Acropolis Museum of Athens and the Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum of Palermo, such as conferences, exhibitions, scientific research.


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