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GODS, MYTHS & MORTALS

GREEK TREASURES ACROSS THE MILLENNIA

Gods, Myths & Mortals brings 8,000 years of Greek civilisation to Melbourne – with each time period celebrating the continuity and transformation which have shaped the Greek world. Carefully curated objects trace the development of tools and technologies to the expansion of trade; the role of myth as a means to understand the known world, to the shift towards monotheism; and the maintenance of identity during foreign rule and the emergence of the Greek state.

All treasures are from the renowned Benaki Museum in Athens as part of an ongoing collaboration and will be on permanent exhibition at the Hellenic Museum until 2024.

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ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The Gods, Myths & Mortals collection includes Neolithic pottery, Cycladic statues, Minoan figurines, Mycenaean jewellery, Hellenistic sculptures, Byzantine icons and manuscripts, Post Byzantine secular art and costumes, and Neo-Hellenic art and weaponry, including ornate swords and pistols belonging to Greek revolutionary heroes Kolokotronis and Mavromichalis. 

These objects showcase developments through history when dynasties reigned, kings conquered, and cities fell. By exploring the cultures and technologies of the past, visitors are provided with the opportunity to discover the changing face of the Greek world while making unexpected connections between times and cultures.

ABOUT THE COLLABORATION

In 2013, the Hellenic Museum announced its partnership with the world-renowned Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, intending to further establish a dialogue between contemporary Melbourne and ancient cultures, in exploration of Australia's diverse cultural identity and makeup. 

Gods, Myths & Mortals is the first long-term collection from the Benaki Museum to call the Hellenic Museum home. 

This collection, like others that have followed, including the Art of Adornment: Greek Jewellery of the 17th to 19th Centuries and Against the Ruins: Photographs by Nelly's allows visitors to experience the multiplicity of histories that inform the makeup of Greek society today.

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This installation was made possible with the generous support of the Victorian Government. It was the beginning of what is now a flourishing cultural partnership between the Hellenic Museum and the Benaki Museum, Athens.