5 Classical Museums Around the World

There's more to the classical world than Rome!

By Google Arts & Culture

Modern Rome-Campo Vaccino (1839) by Joseph Mallord William TurnerThe J. Paul Getty Museum

The world of classical antiquity is rich with architectural splendor and human history. Scroll on to take a journey beyond Rome and discover the ancients through 5 museums across the world...

The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece

Where else than Athens, home of philosophers, poets, athletes, and artists, and of course, the Parthenon, the quintessential symbol of classical architecture. Today, the precious sculptures and ornament are held safely in the Acropolis Museum.

Many of the objects are actually copies, the originals having been taken to Britain and exhibited in the British Museum.

The Pergamon Musem, Berlin, Germany

Many collections of classical art were acquired through purchase or plunder, but none compare to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, which in the late 19th Century acquired several entire buildings, most notably the Pergamon Altar.

Similarly, the Market Gate of Miletus was brought to the museum in pieces - it had been destroyed in an earthquake - from the Ottoman Empire. Starting in 1900, archaeologists reconstructed this Roman gate inside the specially-built museum.

The Vatican Museum, Vatican City

In some ways the Vatican itself is an artefact of ancient Rome, tracing its origins back to the bishops of the late Empire. But for centuries they decried the classical art that filled the city as 'pagan idolatry'.

Changing attitudes eventually saw the papacy become one of the most enthusiastic collectors of classical statuary. Today, the Vatican Museums hold some of the most significant works of the era, including the Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoon.

El Jem Museum, El Jem, Tunisia

In Europe, classical studies have often overlooked the status of Africa. Yet the Carthaginian city of Thysdrus, modern-day El Jem, was one of the most significant in the entire Mediterranean. The Museum at El Jem presents the the classical world from an African perspective.

Not far from the museum is the crowning glory of the city, the Amphitheatre of El Jem. Built by the Romans around 238CE, this is the third largest in the world, a sign of the city's wealth and importance to the Empire.

Some of the most beautiful works of classical art are to be found far beyond the shores of Mare Nostrum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds in its collection over 30,000 objects from the Greek and Roman worlds.

Strabo the geographer may have sailed further than any other Greek, and Alexander wept because there were no more lands to conquer. Could they have ever imagined that they art they knew so well would one day take home in an entirely new world?

Concerto Maurizio Pollini - Sonata In Re Min. Op.31 N.2 (la Tempesta)Teatro Alla Scala

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