Lecture on Benaki Museum’s gold jewellery collection held in Sydney

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The Consulate General of Greece in Sydney and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) at the University of Sydney hosted a lecture by Dr Monica Jackson on Thursday, February 2 at 6pm.

The lecture, titled Aspects of Beauty: Hellenistic Gold Jewellery in the Benaki Museum Collections, reflected on Dr Jackson’s research in the Benaki Museum, which culminated in a book published in 2017.

The Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis, gave a welcome speech on the day and thanked the AAIA for helping to organise the event and for its contribution to strengthening ties between Greece and Australia.

“These bonds are also sealed by the relationship of the Benaki Museum in Athens with Australia. It is a relationship that dates back many decades, reflecting the close political and social ties between Greece and Australia,” Mr Mallikourtis said.

Mr Mallikourtis also underlined that, like its founder Antonis Benakis, the Benaki Museum is a model of “Greekness open to the world, outside of the geographical boundaries of our country.”

“It is an institution that symbolises the idealism, romance, cosmopolitanism and generosity of the Greek diaspora. Their unwavering commitment to leave a legacy for the good of their community and their country, but also their nostalgia, their desire to return,” Mr Mallikourtis added.

For her part, Dr Jackson thoroughly discussed the Benaki Museum’s gold jewellery collection, explaining the complex manufacturing techniques of the jewellery, with reference to the historical context in which goldsmithing of the period developed.

Dr Jackson also gave an outline of the Benaki family itself, whose history begins in cosmopolitan Alexandria, Egypt in the late 19th to early 20th century, where Antonis Benakis (1873-1954) laid the foundations for the creation of his Museum.

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