The National Archaeological Museum of Athens presents A Dream among Splendid Ruins, a temporary exhibition of Athens between the 17th and 19th centuries. Designed as a fictitious walk through the ruins of Athens during this period, visitors will experience a very different view and perspective of the ancient city, through the eyes of European travellers of the time.
Around the mid – 17th century, more than 200 years into Turkish occupation, the Ottoman empire allowed greater travel and access into Greece that enabled artists and explorers of the time to capture and illustrate the beautiful vistas and antiquities in Athens. The published works that followed, caught the imagination and curiosity of the European public.
Through painted works, sculpture, music and engravings, A Dream among Splendid Ruins encapsulates the urban and cultural transition of Athens as it moved into independence.
The exhibition, which runs through to October 2016, commemorates the 150-year anniversary of the museum’s foundation. Several marble sculptures are on display for the first time and the curators have borrowed from the collections of the Library of the Greek Parliament and the City Museum of Athens.
This is a rare glimpse of old Athens and the exhibition successfully captures this vital period in Athens’ history and evolution.
The exhibition extends to a photographic display at the museum’s cafe and is presented in partnership with the Herakleidon Museum. Beginning in 1939, the photographs depict early city life in Athens, along with the advent of tourism in Athens. They will be on display until the 8th May.