• Tufan Akbay

Pieces of the Athena statue found in Izmir in the 1930's were combined

The pieces of the statue of Athena, which were kept in safes after they were removed from the excavation site in İzmir's Bayraklı district in the 1930s, were opened to visitors for the first time after the assembly process carried out by experts at the İzmir Archeology Museum.

This month's part of the project "You Will See What You Can't See", where the Izmir Archaeological Museum displays the rarest works in the warehouses every month, was devoted to Athena, who is known as the goddess of intelligence, art, strategy, inspiration, war and peace in Greek mythology.

The star of the exhibition, which includes 4 separate Athena figurines dating to the Archaic and Hellenistic periods, was the 28-centimeter statue found in the area in İzmir's Bayraklı district in the 1930s and assembled by experts approximately 90 years later.

Athena is depicted with an oval face, prominent nose, mouth, chin, and black hair in the 28-centimeter terracotta artifact, dated to the period between 300 and 600 BC.

It was noted that the artifact, which was found in approximately 40 pieces and kept in chests, was put together as a result of the careful work of the expert team of the museum and exhibited for the first time.

Archaeologist Elif Erginer, Deputy Director of the İzmir Archeology Museum, said that the project in which a special group of artifacts is exhibited in special showcases every month, attracted great attention.

Erginer stated that they devoted this month's exhibition to Athena, who is known as the daughter of Zeus, the "head of the gods", and Metis, the "goddess of wisdom" in mythology.

Stating that the pieces found in Bayraklı were scattered in the safes in the warehouses for a long time, Erginer said that the figurine was discovered as a result of the classification study.

Explaining that the work remained in the vault for a long time without being combined, Erginer said, "The work was completed within the framework of the latest arrangements we made in our museum and is now exhibitable. Those who come here will encounter the peaceful and artistic face of Athena."

Source and photos: AA