2013 Archived News

Acropolis Museum to conduct research with public and experts on its unique collection of archaic statues starting 31 July 2013


Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 - Tuesday, 31 December, 2013

Commencing Tuesday 31 July 2012, the Acropolis Museum wants to conduct research on its unique collection of archaic statues, which retain their colours to a small or large degree, and to open a very extensive discussion with the public and various experts on colour, its technical issues, its detection using new technologies, its experimental use on marble surfaces, its digital reconstruction, its meaning, as well as the archaic period’s aesthetic perception of colour.

So far, scientific research into the colour found on ancient sculpture has made great progress and reached surprising conclusions that to a large degree refute the stereotypical assumptions regarding ancient sculpture. It turns out that colour, far from being just a simple decorative element, added to the sculpture’s aesthetic quality.

For ancient Greeks and their society, colour constituted a way to characterize various attributes. The blond hair of the gods projected their power; the brown skin of warriors and athletes was a sign of virtue and valour, while the white skin of the korai expressed the grace and radiance of youth.

The Μuseum’s initiative on Archaic Colours is based on very careful observation, on spectroscopic analysis, on special photography sessions, on efforts to reproduce the colours of antiquity and then to apply them on Parian marble, and naturally, on searching through written sources for valuable information on the pigments.

The statues’ crisp, saturated colours, on bright garments and tender bodies, combined with the rich jewellery, frequently made of metal, and elaborately curled hair created a singular aesthetic pleasure, making the archaic statues “wonderful to behold” for the people of the period.

Gallery Talks

Brief presentations which focus on “Archaic Colours” are held by Museum Archaeologist – Hosts, with rich visual material, both in Greek and English.

For more information click here.

Family Backpack «Archaic Colours»

On the occasion of the initiative on Archaic Colours, the Museum invites families to discover the archaic colours through the following games: the game of discovering details, the painting box and the DOMINO.

For more information click here

Colour the Peplos Kore

Visitors also have the opportunity to continue participating in the “Archaic Colours“ initiative from home, through the online digital interactive game “Colour the Peplos Kore“. Visitors can use the brush and colours of their choice, colour the statue of Peplos Kore and finally print and save their work as many times as they wish and in several variations.