As part of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens has curated a special exhibition.
Set to be inaugurated on 11 February by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the exhibit titled ‘For these we fought: Antiquities and the Greek Revolution’, will juxtapose Greek antiquities with 18th and 19th century works.
There will be five sections featuring 26 artefacts juxtaposed with 26 modern works by painters from across Europe that showcase what the landscape of Greece looked looked like at the time. There will also be digital projections of drawings from pre-revolutionary Greece that will be accompanied by descriptions by French statesman and writer, Chateaubriand.
The exhibition’s name is a fitting choice, based on a quote attributed to General Yiannis Makrygiannis. A leading historical figure, he advised Greek fighters not to sell or give away any of Greece’s antiquities.
Adding further dimension to the exhibit is that it will link two commemorations: the 2,500th anniversary since the naval battle of Salamis and the battle of Thermopylae with the Greek Revolution.
“The Revolution did not just happen suddenly; it resulted from a series of developments related to the awakening of national consciousness, which was already detectable in the Late Byzantine era,” said Greece’s Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni.
“From the 18th century on, this development matured and the Revolution came as a result of intellectual, ideological and political movements of the era … adopting in reality the basic values and principles of ancient Greece, culminating in Arete and Liberty, as they are experienced after the Greek victory in the Persian Wars.”