Monday, December 3, 2012
National Archeological Museum, Athens, Dec.2012
Now I'm outside the archeological museum having a coffee surrounded by pigeons and waiting for the museum to open. I'm hoping to see the Gold Mask of Agamemnon. It's exciting considering I studied all this in Classics undergrad at the University of Winnipeg when I took the course Minoans and Myceneans. My professor was a brilliant stooped fellow whose name I fear I've forgotten. He inspired me to share his love and interest in pot shards. Now I'm here and so thankful for his tutelage. He was truly one of the most exciting scholars I have ever had the privilege to meet. I'd hope to look him up and see if he' still alive and teaching, perhaps send a letter with a picture of me, by some obvious Greek ruins,thanking him for his inspiration. Athens is alive with history. The origins of democracy and law and so much more began here mostly in the golden age of Pericles . Now there's economic crisis. The Greeks have been through so many wars and changes of government but like the English they endure. The life here is so rich and varied. I love the climate. Everywhere men are talking and the beautiful women are so incredibly fashionable. I see people gathering at the doors to the museum so think I'll look for a washroom first then head on over. ****** I absolutely loved the National Archeological Museum. It definitely rates right up there with all of the finest museums I've known from London, to Washington DC, New York and Mexico City. I can't say Canada has anything to compare though on a smaller scale we have some museums we can be proud of. There just is something about being in the midst of artifacts dating to the 7th millenium. The Museum's collection - Prehistoric, Sculpture, Vases and Minor arts, Bronze and Egyptian Antiquities. I was most impressed with the treasures of Mycenae. I studied the gold mask of Agamemnon at University of Winnipeg in undergraduate Classics. Now to see it, was stirring. I saw so many works in the museum that I'd seen only in books and on slides. I loved the sculptures of Aphrodite as well, the busts of Hadrian and others. The men's penis' were anatomically intact and mostly uncircumcised. I couldn't help but appreciate them all here after being to Rome where a Christian nutbar perverted leader had castrated all the marble statues in what was clearly an early example of Freudian projection. The harpist from Keros was other worldly. The bronze of the jockey fron Artemision was incredible, life sized and such fine detail. The black figure vases and the Cycladic marble figurines were moving from a sense of the history involved. The wall paintings of Thera gave a whole new meaning to interior design. I didn't know glassware dated from before Christ so was impressed with the surviving samples of bowls. Add to that the extraordinary and haunting Antikythera device, a complex cosmological computer. I was most interested in the Greek exhibits but loved the presentation on the hieroglyphs and the deciphering of them with the Rosetta Stone. I just loved every room. I especially loved the sculpture of children with puppies and cats and men with their dogs. My little cockapoo, Gilbert would have liked them too though I'd worry he'd try to pee on one to make it his own. Every room has an attendant. Yet there's an openess and freedom to walk at one's own pace through this incredible world of creation. I was moved over and over again sometimes to tears at the evidence of sheer genius and wonderful creativity going back thousands and thousands of years. I loved the jewelry in gold and shells, the weaponry too. Even household tools were works of art.