Last Thursday morning, 28 crates from St. Petersburg arrived at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki with delays due to adverse weather conditions. Three teams of scientists, around 20 people from Greece and Italy, began working feverishly to set up the exhibition “Sardinia, Megalithic Island From Menhirs to Nuraghi : Stories of Stone in the Heart of the Mediterranean”, which opened on February 11, 2022, at 19:00, at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

After Berlin and St. Petersburg, the journey of Sardinian archaeology and Nuragic culture  makes a stop at Thessaloniki, before ending in Naples. Through 188 exhibits, the visitor will have the opportunity to get acquainted with one of the most fascinating cultures of the Mediterranean, which continues to impress and intrigue scientists and visitors.

As noted by the Museum’s Deputy Director Angeliki Koukouvou, the public “welcomes” a giant dating to 700 BC, “the guest of honour”, who traveled upright in a special construction. The bronze statuettes, the Bronzetti, are particularly interesting and are an impressive testimony to the religious life of the people of the Nuragic period. These depict male and female figures in various social roles, as well as animals, objects and even buildings. Their large number offers the visitor a detailed picture of Nuragic society regarding its clothing,treatment of the human body, its weapons and nutrition.

A significant part of megalithic architecture is also to be found in tombs and places of worship, in the “tombs of the giants” as they are known because of their imposing size. Models of these can be seen in the exhibition. It had been thought they were built for giants, but in reality they were collective burials of entire communities.

The exhibition is divided into six sections and includes information texts, as well as audio visual material on the ancient culture of Sardinia, the Nuragic culture, with its imposing megalithic buildings, nuraghes, dolmens, menhirs and the tombs of giants .

“The already famous masterpieces as well as the region’s most recent findings are wonderfully displayed within their wider archaeological context,” notes Ms. Koukouvou.

The exhibition has already been hosted at the Berlin Museum of Prehistory and Early History and the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, while its last stop after the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki will be the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The event is the latest in a comprehensive programme of Cultural Heritage and Tourism on Sardinian Archeology in the Mediterranean, funded by the European Union. It has been organized by the Region of Sardinia-Department of Tourism, the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari and the Regional Directorate of Museums of Sardinia — in collaboration with the four museums that host it — under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and the Italian Ministry of Culture (MIC), in collaboration with the Fondazione di Sardegna and Villaggio Globale International which has undertaken the organization and general coordination.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in five languages (Italian, English, German, Russian and Greek).

The exhibition will run until May 15, 2022.