The famous “Schliemann Furniture” from the G.I. Katsigras Collection traveled to Berlin to be part of the Worlds of Schliemann exhibition at the James Simon Gallery of the Neues Museum on Museuminsel.
“It is a great honour for the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa-G.I. Katsigras Museum to participate in such an important International Exhibition with the Schliemann Furniture, making the museum an ambassador of the cultural reserve of both the town and the country as a whole” said Vice President of the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – G.I. Katsigras Museum, Annie Psarra, on the occasion of the exhibition opening. “Our goal is the G.I. Katsigras Collection with its recognized value to become a cultural destination nationwide and internationally. The promotion of the collection, all these years, through the painstaking work of the employees and the support of the Municipal Authorities, makes us proud as citizens of this town, fulfilling our debt to the great benefactor and collector George Katsigras”.
“The participation of the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa- G.I. Katsigras Museum at an international exhibition is a very important event. The exhibition in Berlin is impressive, museologically sound, and the Schliemann Furniture from the Katsigras Collection has been organically incorporated in the exhibition narrative which sheds light onto the diverse personality of Eric Schliemann,” the museum said in a statement.
For the loan of the Furniture to Berlin, all proper conditions were secured and all protocols observed, both for its safe transport and exhibiting and for its return.
The “Schliemann Furniture” from the Katsigras Collection
The furniture from the study of Heinrich Schliemann is on the one hand a rare example of Greek material culture from the late 19th century and on the other hand is associated with two important personalities: it was designed by the architect Ernst Ziller following the instructions of archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann for his residence in Athens, the “Iliou Melathron”.
Its motifs (winged rams and lions, palmettes, ram heads, lion legs, the owl of Athena, satyr heads) refer to the revival of antiquity through the spirit of neoclassicism.
The walnut wood furniture was made in Vienna in 1880 and in 1955 the doctor George Katsigras bought it from antique dealer Stathis Kyrloglou – although it had also been claimed at the time by Queen Fredericka – to put it in the study of his clinic to begin with and then in his own private practice. The furniture comes with three bronze statues of Penelope, Dionysus and a horseman.
In 1998 it was acquired by the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa as a legacy of George Katsigras along with 1,170 books and 57 additional works of art, completing the collector’s donation to the town of Larissa.
Since then, it is on permanent exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – G.I. Katsigras Museum. In 2001, by ministerial decision, it was declared a monument of modern cultural heritage.