Greek museums mark International Museums Day with free entrance and events

Entrance to all museums in Greece will be free of charge on Thursday (May 18) as they celebrate the International Museums Day, with several events planned for visitors. The theme chosen for 2017 is “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums”.

For the day, the Acropolis Museum will exhibit for the first time fragments of a statue depicting the “Polos Kore” (young woman with a high head dress) inside the Archaic Acropolis Gallery, together with the exceptional head 696. These fragments are currently in the museum’s store rooms. Visitors will be able to view these artifacts arranged in a special showcase in order to get the complete picture of the statue before its destruction by the Persians.

On the occasion of this year’s International Museum Day, the Museum produced, in collaboration with the Hellenic Mint, commemorative medals dedicated to the boar. Massive and ferocious, the wild boar inspired both awe and dread in the ancient Greeks. Boar hunting required a well-coordinated team of hunters, capable of tracking down and fatally wounding an aggressive and potentially deadly prey. These medals will be available for purchase at the Acropolis Museum Shops from Thursday 18 May 2017.

Archaeologists at the Archaeological Museum in Athens will narrate stories behind selected exhibits that relate to latent traumatic memories. What secrets does the Linear B tablet from the palace in Pylos hide? Where are the two men and the eight women referred to on the table heading to? What magical powers could the ancient inscription on the lead tile from Salamis have for the ancients?

These and other stories will reveal an unknown or contested world of antiquity, while other narratives will familiarize visitors with aspects of the modern history of antiquities.

The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. It is organised on and around 18 May each year.