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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Exhibition of Antiquities in Greece (1829-1909): Ideological Starting points – Practical Approaches

A series of questions referring to the ideological approach of the Greek past has been the cause of this research.

The special nature of this past in Greece, that is its duration, cultural radiance and international fame, has enriched it with a symbolical meaning. The research covers the period from 1829, when the first Greek archaeological museum was founded, to 1909, a year that signals not only a major change in the political life of Greece, but also a period of inflation in the museums development. Museum exhibitions offer the ideal field for detecting the ideology of a society and an epoch about the past. The content of the exhibitions can be read in three different ways, as follows: First reading: the exhibition as an esthetic value; second reading: the ideological function of the exhibition; third reading: the exhibition as an ideological proposal. However, as very aptly Susan Pearce has noted, “the exhibitions tend to adopt the most convenient aspect from a whole range of available choices …. because they must be easily readable by visitors. In this way the exhibitions usually end up to preserve a standard view and approach of the past”.