19 SEPTEMBER 2011 / The Kingdom of Alexander the Great travels to the Louvre with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is supporting, through a grant to the Louvre Museum, the much-anticipated exhibition, In the Kingdom of Alexander the Great – Ancient Macedonia» (Au Royaume d’Alexandre le Grand – La Macedoine Antique).

The exhibition will run from October 13th, 2011 to January 16th, 2012. Designed to introduce visitors to the richness of the artistic heritage of northern Greece, the exhibition will showcase several aspects of Macedonian culture, such as, its artistic production, the everyday life of men and women, its religion and its death rituals. 

The exhibition, which is curated by a team of Greek and French experts, brings together 500 works that trace the history of ancient Macedonia, from the fifteenth century B.C. up to the Roman Empire. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the rich artistic tradition of northern Greece, the treasures of which remain rather unknown to the general public, due to the relatively recent nature of archeological discoveries in the region. 

The full archaeological potential of the whole area was not really understood until 1977, when several royal sepulchral monuments were unearthed at Vergina, including the sealed tomb of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father. Further excavations at this significant site, now identified with Aegae (Vergina), the first capital of ancient Macedonia, resulted in a number of other important discoveries, including a puzzling burial site revealed in 2008, which is likely to instigate a number of revisions in relation to our understanding of ancient history.  

The exhibition’s theme is the glorious past of the kingdom of Macedonia, which experienced an impressive reach at the height of its prominence. The exhibition also provides an opportunity to explore the nature of royal burial sites in northern Greece, at the time of the Macedonian Kings. The wondrous artifacts unearthed from the burial sites, which had been protected by tumuli (burial mounds), provide unique insights into the virtuosity of this period’s artists.