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Massive Golden Statue of Zeus Comes Back to Life

statue zeus olympia
A replica of the giant golden and ivory statue of Zeus at Olympia will be on display until the end of September. Credit: Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology/Facebook

The massive golden and ivory statue of Zeus that once stood in the temple to the god located at Ancient Olympia has come back to life after 2,500 years.

A replica of the ancient masterpiece has been on display at Ancient Olympia by the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology since July 1st and will remain at the site until September 30th.

The original sculpture, which was created by the famed ancient Greek sculptor Phidias in the fifth century BC stood at around 12.4 m (41 ft) tall.

Replica of ancient golden statue of Zeus on display

The statue was so imposing and was so exquisitely made that it was known as one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Unfortunately, the statue itself was lost sometime during the fifth century AD.

Descriptions of the stunning work of art from ancient Greek authors exist, as well as depictions of the sculpture on coins and other imagery, which allow modern scholars to gain an idea of how the lost treasure appeared in ancient times.

It is through these ancient sources that a replica of the imposing sculpture was created for an upcoming exhibit entitled The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which will also include a replica of the Colossus of Rhodes.

It took three years of research, scholarship, and construction for curators, scholars, and technicians from the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology to create the replica of the ancient masterpiece.

The replica, along with the rest of the exhibition, which will be available for public viewing  from July 1st to September 30th is on display in the heart of Ancient Olympia, and entrance to the show is free until this Sunday, July 10th. After Sunday, there will be a 5 euro entrance fee.

The exhibition is open every day from 10 AM until 6 PM.

Ancient Olympia

The sanctuaries and temples of ancient Olympia are some of the oldest and most important in all of Ancient Greece. Forming the backdrop to so much of Greek history, it is impossible to imagine Greece without Olympia, with its Games every four years dedicated to the king of all the gods, Zeus.

With temples dedicated to Zeus, Hera, and Nike, treasuries, baths, gymnasiums, and stadiums, Ancient Olympia served as what one historian says was the “physical and metaphorical common ground” of Ancient Greece.

Archaia Olympia (Modern Greek: Αρχαία Ολυμπία; Ancient Greek: Ἀρχαίὰ Ὀλυμπία; “Ancient Olympia”) was a major Panhellenic religious sanctuary in the time of ancient Greece, where the Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical antiquity from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

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