PREVIEW: Troy: Myth and Reality, British Museum

The British Museum’s forthcoming exhibition will be the first exhibition exploring the world of Troy in the UK.

Achilles kills the Amazon queen Penthesilea, Athenian amphora, c.530BC, ceramic (c)The Trustees of the British Museum.

Revealing the legacy of the stories of the Trojan war, the British Museum will highlight the works of art inspired by the tales of war, love and loss that are wrapped up in the Trojan cycle of myths and passed down through generations.

By following in the footsteps of historians and archeologists, this new exhibition will showcase the discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann in Turkey in the 1870s, which changed the perception of this epic tale forever. From the Trojan horse to Troilus and Cressida, Hollywood films and contemporary art, this exhibition will reveal the stories of Troy that have fascinated and inspired people for more than 3,000 years.

As well as being the first exhibition in the UK to focus on Troy, this display will be the first to feature finds from Schliemann’s excavations at the site of Troy, since they were displayed in London in the 1870s. His rediscovery of Troy and his work at the site between 1870 and 1890 made him famous the world over. A large number of his original finds, including pottery and silver vessels, bronze weapons and stone sculptures, have been loaned by the Berlin Museums to the UK for the first time in nearly 150 years. 

Troy: Myth and Reality is set to feature over 300 objects to reveal the story of Troy and its wider impact, as it was told and retold throughout millennia. 

Talking about the exhibition Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said: “It is important to reflect on the past as a way to explore the issues of the present, and the BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality provides an exceptional opportunity to do this. With its human stories of war, displacement and new beginnings, the myth of Troy has been told for over 3,000 years and across different cultures and languages across the globe, making the British Museum the perfect place to explore these interconnected histories.”

Troy: Myth and Reality will be on display at the British Museum from the 21st November until the 8th March 2020.

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