A statue base honouring Roman emperor Hadrian and an exceptional marble bust of Antinous, his drowned Greek lover, will be on show at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (NAM).
The objects are part of the rotating exhibition «Unseen Museum», which regularly brings to the public artifacts kept in storage.
The inscribed marble base served to hold a monument honoring Hadrian, who was Roman emperor from 117 to 138 AD. Hadrian was an admirer of Athens who left impressive monuments in the city, including the Gate of Hadrian, still standing near Zappeion Hall.
«The artifacts are being presented in the museum’s central space 19 centuries after the emperor’s visit in Athens,» said NAM in a statement on the exhibit.
Both objects will remain on show until March 4, 2018, it added.
The «Unseen Museum» has so far presented 15 outstanding artifacts. This particular selection complements an upcoming show, «Hadrian and Athens: Conversing with an ideal world,» that opens on November 28 for a year.
From December 2017 to February 2018, museum archaeologists will guide visitors on an imaginary tour in the world of Hadrian and Antinous, starting from the Athens and reaching to the Altar of Egyptian Gods in Marathonas, northeast of Athens, focusing on the intellectual renaissance of Greek culture and «paideia» during Hadrian’s reign.
Guided presentations are offered as follows:
Fridays – December 15; January 12, 26; February 9, 23 and
Sundays – December 17; January 14, 28; February 11, 25.
Starting time is 13:00.
For information and to reserve a place, please call NAM at 213214 4800. Although the exhibit is free, it requires an entrance fee to the museum (5 euros) and reservation.
(Image information: Bust of Hadrian found in Patras in 1856, dated slightly after 130 AD. Museum no. G418. Photo credit: Photographic Archive, National Museum of Archaeology.)