The exhibition “Homecoming. Cycladic treasures on their return journey” opened on the 3rd of November 2022, and will last until October 31, 2023, presenting 15 antiquities for the first time internationally. It is the first step of the historic agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Museum of Cycladic Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (The Met), which was ratified by the Greek Parliament on September 9, 2022.
The agreement foresees the gradual return to Greece of 161 Early Cycladic antiquities of unique archaeological value of the American collector Leonard Stern. Following this, the entire collection will be exhibited at The Met, before the final return of the entirety of these antiquities to Greece, their country of origin.
The antiquities presented –ten marble figurines and five vases made of marble, steatite and clay– cover a wide chronological range, from the times of the Late Neolithic period to those of the Early Cycladic II period (c. 5300 – 2400/2300 BC). The figurines depict solely the female figure and belong to types and varieties corresponding to the styles of each period (schematic, precanonical, canonical), while the vases represent some of the most characteristic types of vessels covering the entire Early Cycladic period.
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Bilingual (Greek-English) scientific catalog with 180 pages, including an introductory text on the Early Cycladic culture of the 3rd millennium BC, as well as a detailed and documented presentation of the 15 first Early Cycladic antiquities, which, being part of the Leonard Stern collection, make their way back home, in implementation of a historic agreement between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Museum of Cycladic Art. The texts are accompanied by unique photographs of the exhibits themselves and of the Cycladic landscape.
The catalog includes also short forewords by Dr Lina Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic, Max Hollein, Director of the Met, and Kassandra Marinopoulou, President and CEO of the Museum of Cycladic Art.