Τρίτη, 22 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Πέμπτη, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2013

China bets on Greek mythology!

It is with great pleasure that I present today's post, written by fellow archaeologist Dr Thanos Sideris. Dr Sideris discovered this extraordinary find through his friends Kleopatra and Dimitris, who very kindly provided the photographs, and he wrote the following excellent piece. 
This is a rare case of Consuming Greek Antiquity in the Far East. 
Enjoy! 

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Dr Thanos Sideris

China bets on Greek mythology!


Once upon a time, when I was a student, my professor of History of Philosophy assigned to me a seminar work consisting in the comparison of Lao Tse (or Laozi) to Heraclitus, who, to my biggest astonishment, proved to be not only contemporaries (both lived presumably in the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 5th century BC), but also sharing a similar perception of time, morality and change. Since then I was offered many more occasions to observe the strange kinship of the two ancient civilizations, the Ancient China exhibition in the Met, in 2004, being one of the thoroughest. 

I was however –and I am still- not familiar with the issues related to the reception of Classical culture in China. You may imagine my surprise when I received from my friends, Kleopatra and Dimitris, these pictures of a hotel-casino in Macau, a former Portuguese colony and nowadays a special administration Chinese territory. Macau seems to be the paradise of gambling, and according to most recent statistics it has a turnover surpassing by far that of Las Vegas and justifying its position as the world’s top casino market.

The Greek Mythology Casino is owned by a Chinese magnate, who has been recently in troubles with the triads (Chinese mafia organizations) controlling the gaming industry. The owner was attacked in his own establishment and beaten so badly that he spent several weeks in a hospital. It is not clear however why he opted for the ancient Greek mythology theme for his casino, and who was the designer of the exuberant –Versailles inspired- Poseidon fountain in front of the entrance, the astonishing Zeus statue in the lobby, and all these colorful frescos, reliefs and statues.

Yet, according to a reliable source which desires to remain anonymous, the attack of the triads should not be seen as retaliation for his aesthetic crime. Personally I still have my doubts…





















Τρίτη, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2013

More Discoboloi

I admit this post is kind of cheating. All the photographs presented today are actually from the same source I used for the Naughty and Nice post before Christmas.

I decided to collect and present them separately though since they form a group and they relate to a subject I'm very keenly interested in, the Discobolus statue, for which you may find lots of posts in this blog. 

So there you have it: more Discoboloi









Πέμπτη, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Sandtastic archaeo-creations!


I'm more than happy to guest another post written and richly illustrated by Naya Dalakoura. 
Admittedly, Naya has an eye for original subjects and writes about them so well. 
Today's post is simply sandtastic, so enjoy! 

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By Dr Naya Dalakoura


Sand, sand and more sand…if you believe that sand castles are the only thing you can create by the beach you need much more to learn! Sun, sand and Greek antiquity are now united developing some mind-blowing sand sculptures all over the world!

Greek antiquity is revealed out of thousands of tons of sand in the form of breathtaking masterpieces. A unique range of sand art that involves large, complex sculpture constructions to stand in front of and appreciate and make you think there is a certain amount of magic involved, are carried out by companies that construct sculptures for special events in various places around the world and are able to make every myth come true!   

Ephemeral in its nature, sand art is for everyone, young and old alike, and provides the community with such beautiful forms of art, so thoroughly enjoyed by the audiences that all appreciation received is very much deserved - and it’s environmentally friendly too! Sand creations can have almost any size, shape, form and one may see virtually any kinds of sculptures you would expect to see in stone, bronze or wood. 

Audiences are fascinated by how antiquity appears out of sand, revealing a whole new fragile world. It's quite a stunning sight watching sand sculptors digging, moving, piling, patting, tamping and spraying the sand as the sculpture takes its shape, sometimes appearing to almost come to life… really, how do they make the sand stand like that?

Carving any nominated theme on the sands of time, sand artists that have been nowadays elevated to professionals, create mainly themes in memory of Great Civilizations and subjects inspired by Greek antiquity as the Olympics, the Trojan War, dramatic depictions of mythological heroes and creatures, like Hercules and his Labours, the Gorgon Medusa pursued by Perseus, the portrayal of Icarus, the twelve Gods of Olympus, Pan with his flute, King Midas and much more!

 Love the magic of the sand? Feeling any creative, patient and endured? Get out there, move some sand and make sure you have fun while you are on it!






Ancient Greek Warrior (detail)


Discobolus, sand statue on Zhujiajian island, China

A Wounded Niobid

The Twelve Gods


Apollo and Midas

Pan and Apollo


Medusa 

Perseus slaying Medusa

Hercules

Icarus

The Trojan Horse (and two lovely children)





Παρασκευή, 4 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Hillary Clinton in the Acropolis Museum

During her last visit in Athens in July 2011, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the New Acropolis Museum on July 17, 2011 and these interesting photographs of her admiring the exhibits, especially the famous Kritios Boy and the Callimachus Nike, came up in the press. 



Hillary and the Kritios Boy







Hillary admiring the model of the Callimachus Nike




(a photograph taken from her point of view) 








Τρίτη, 1 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Ancient Greek lemon crush


I can't think of a better way to start the new year in the blog than with another well-written, well-illustrated guest post by archaeologist-museologist Dr Naya Dalakoura!

I know you enjoyed her last post, so once again feast your eyes and enjoy Naya's post.




Dr Naya Dalakoura

Remember the old adage -  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Well, seems that some talented artists are way beyond that, making and consuming not only lemonade, but pretty much all of the world’s antiquity!

Why lemons? Because Menton, a French town located exactly where a warm micro-climate favorable to lemons and oranges boast, bursts every February into a riot of color for the huge citrus - scented celebration known as Fête du Citron, offering just the kind of vitamin C fix you need after a long hard winter. The unique event attracts thousands of visitors, following a different chosen theme each year.

The theme of the Lemon Festival 2011 has been The Great Civilizations.  About 145 metric tons of bright and juicy world renowned citrus fruits were used to create some elaborate, extraordinary, temporary, giant sized sculptures. Everything from tiny mandarins to juicy lemons are competing for attention in a massive fun theme park where all the great civilizations of the ancient world are represented.

At this point you may be thinking ‘a static display of citrus fruits….sounds like going to a grocery store!’…oh well you would be unbelievably wrong. The originality and whimsicality of the different citrus sculptures is stunning! Models of historic importance all made of oranges and lemons, with each fruit being individually attached to a sub-frame with a rubber band present selected ancient Greek themes that dominate the art work.  

Sweet’ n ’sour Trojan Horse, fruity shots of the myth of Helen of Troy, fragrant citrus Theseus with a Minotaur outside a labyrinth and the gorgon Medousa’s head and snakes against the fruity pillars are all impressive man made masterpieces attracting the visitors to pose with them! And the best: each exhibit has an appropriate sound track! Marching soldiers and the clip-clop of horses' hooves can easily make you feel like a Trojan War soldier!
Got any lemon crazy?

******
Perseus and Medusa 





Theseus and Minotaur 




Helen of Troy



The Trojan Horse







***
Want more? 
Read Dr Naya Dalakoura's previous post on ArCAKEology, an edible archaeology