Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Mont Athos treasures on display for the first time outside Greece

by Kathryn Hadley

Almost 200 works of art, including paintings, illustrated manuscripts, icons and religious relics, from the male-only orthodox enclave in northern Greece, Mount Athos, are currently on public display for the first time outside Greece in an exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris. The artefacts are from the collections of the 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries of Mount Athos, which are believed to house one of the largest collections of Christian art in the world. Many of the treasures have not even been on display outside Mount Athos before.

Mont Athos, situated on the easternmost of the three Chalkidike peninsulas in northeastern Greece, is also known as the Holy Mountain. It was the centre of Greek Orthodox monastic spirituality and theological study in the Byzantine period. It first flourished under Emperor Nikephoros Phokas (963-69) and, by about 1100, was a self-governing monastic republic. Politically, it is now known in Greece as the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain. Only males who are over the age of 18 and are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are allowed to live on Athos. The peninsula is only accessible by boat and the number of visitors is restricted.

Le Mont Athos et l’Empire byzantin, Trésors de la Sainte montagne au Petit Palais
Until July 5th

Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Avenue Winston Churchill
75008 Paris
Telephone: 00 33 11 53 43 40 00
www.petitpalais.paris.fr

4 comments:

grass73 said...

HI,
DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THIS EXHIBIT WILL BE COMING TO THE U.S. OR GOING ANYWHERE ELSE IN EUROPE BEFORE GOING BACK TO GREECE?
THANKS,
GRASS73

History Today magazine said...

Unfortunately the exhibition isn't going anywhere else, no. It is going straight back to Greece...

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