“Dion: Gods and mortals” is the title of the exhibition featuring archaeological treasures from the sacred Macedonian city, to be presented in New York and organized by the Onassis Foundation.
The Central Archaeological Council has given the green light to the temporary export of 111 ancient works of art from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria. The exhibition is expected to take place in the next year.
According to Dimitris Pandermalis, excavator of Dion and President of the Acropolis Museum, one of the main ideas the exhibition will stress is that the gods of the Greeks arose from the magnificent nature of the land and that their cults are directly related to the natural environment. “There is Olympus, a high mountain, there are ravines, water coming from springs and trees, thunders and lightnings. All these things have nurtured mythology. Even today the nature there is almost intact”.
What’s most important, according to Mr. Pandermalis, is that all exhibits come from the Dion excavations. “In contrast to the museums abroad, which have antiquities coming from illegal excavations, looting and abduction, here we know the history of each and every find and how the movable finds are related to specific buildings or burial monuments. This is the vital difference that Greek museums have to make the most of by enhancing it.”
Mr. Pandermalis hopes that the exhibition, presenting objects which for the first time are exhibited abroad, may renew the world’s interest for the area and increase visitors to the site.
The first section will refer to tombs of the Early Iron Age, the historical scenery connecting the Orpheus myth with Dion and the abundant water wells at the area. The second section includes finds coming from the excavation of the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus.
The third section features characteristic finds from the Sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistus. The fourth section refers to the Sanctuary of Demeter and the oldest sacred buildings of Dion. The fifth section includes finds from the Sanctuary of Isis.