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Return of the Gods to World Museum Liverpool

World Museum is plunging visitors into a mythological land of gods and goddesses in a new exhibition which celebrates the ancient world and its heroes.

Return of the Gods, opening at the William Brown Street venue this Friday, brings together a collection of more than 100 internationally important sculptures and objects from its collection which have never been displayed together before.

They include Zeus - the king of the gods, Athena the goddess of wisdom and war, and Hercules, the hero, along with huge statues of Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Hera and Dionysus among others.

Two ceramic amphoras, which are more than 2000 years old, are illustrated with the legends of the time and graffitied with their artist’s tag, while the artefacts also include busts of Emperors like Marcus Aurelius, Hadrian, Augustus and Vespasian and their families, a marble altar, carved panels, glassware and statuettes.

Visitors will be welcomed into the luxury of a Roman villa to explore the joys of Roman feasts and discover how Emperors and the Imperial families were immortalised after death, before entering a dark and ethereal space to explore the underworld in a theatrical display featuring the three-headed dog, Cerberus, guardian of the gates of Hades.

Discover why people held Magic Gems to gain protection and learn which mythical symbols can still be seen in our everyday lives.

Above: A gallery slideshow of images of statues and artefacts in the exhibition. Top: A statue of Ares (Mars) God of War

Originally collected by the 18th century antiquarian Henry Blundell of Sefton, this is the first time this significant collection of sculptures will be displayed on such a scale.

Chrissy Partheni, Curator of Classical Antiquities at World Museum said: “We want the characters of the gods and heroes and their interaction with mortals to shine, so we will be presenting the collections in a new, dramatic way, not simply as beautiful art objects.

“We want visitors to immerse themselves in the fantastic tales and myths of the classical antiquity world and to feel they are taking part in public festivals, games and in the worship of special cults of ancient Greece and Rome.”

A busy programme of accompanying events will include regular family activities and the launch of a new four-week short course exploring 3,000 years of Ancient Greek history in the summer. There will also be a chance for Key Stage 2 school years (4-6) to explore the ancient world through hands-on investigations of artefacts from Ancient Greece and Rome.

Return of the Gods is at World Museum Liverpool from April 28 to February 2024. Tickets are £8 for adults and free to National Museums Members and children under 17.



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