The British Museum’s Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors, and Heroes exhibition is set to tour Australia and much of the southern hemisphere for the first time.
The exhibition features some 180 objects and will kick off at Perth’s Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip in June before moving to Canberra’s National Museum of Australia in December.
The tour comes after prolonged delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibition, curated by Dr Peter Higgs, explores the theme of competition through sports, politics, drama, music and warfare through dozens of artefacts from ancient Greece.
Key objects include iconic black and red figured ceramics, marble statues and reliefs, bronze figurines, weapons and armour, toys and games, fine gold jewellery, and coins.
The exhibition comes as part of a partnership between the British Museum, the National Museum of Australia, the Western Australian Museum, and the Tmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.
The exhibition is the fourth in a series of British Museum exhibitions that have featured at the National Museum of Australia, following Rome: City and Empire in 2018, A History of the World in 100 Objects in 2016, and Encounters: Revealing Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Objects from the British Museum in 2015.
National Museum of Australia director, Dr. Mathew Trinca, said he was delighted that the show, which celebrates sporting prowess in the ancient Olympic Games, will now bookend the rescheduled 2021 Olympics.
“We are thrilled that we can finally bring Ancient Greeks to east coast audiences after a 12-month delay. With COVID still among us and Australians looking for exciting experiences at home, this show really fits the bill,” Dr. Trinca said.
“I know audiences will be mesmerised by the stories of competition in the ancient Greek world and by the beautiful depictions of athletes, the ceramics, sculptures, armour, and jewellery featured in the show,” Dr. Trinca said.