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Heritage

Photos provided by the Georgian National Museum




The myth about the Greek Argonauts is known to
many, though not everyone knows that this myth is
. , connected to Georgia. Ancient Greek authors tell us about
how Jason and his Argonauts traveled to Colchis in order
, to obtain the golden fleece, which was being protected by a
dragon.

An archaeological discovery on the present-day territory
. of West Georgia of an influential, highly developed culture
:
reveals that the mythical land of Colchis was located in this
, very region. The items discovered in Vani are connected to


the myth of Jason and the golden fleece and confirm that
, Colchis was a real country, one rich in gold. These master
AUTHOR: David LorDkipanidze
pieces of art also confirm that Georgias cultural heritage is an
The General Director of the Georgian
. integral part of Western civilization and that the kingdom of
National Museum
Colchis is a mainstay of Georgias cultural identity.




;

A majority of scientists consider Classical Greek culture as the
basis of European culture and civilization. In fact, as a result of


, this archaeological discovery, it can be affirmed that pre-Chris
, tian cultural traditions helped facilitate the formation of a devel
oped civilization in Georgia. If you visit the Georgian National


. , Museum, youll bear witness to all of this and will be able to
, , behold our countrys history from time immemorial. However,
it is not only the duty of the National Museum to arrange local
exhibits; it is no less important to present and acquaint the
international community with our countrys rich past, includ

The land
, ing the hearsay as to why Georgia is considered to be the land
. . of the golden fleece and why Greek and Roman authors make
mention to it with the epithet abundant in gold.

of the golden

This was why the Colchian treasury was put on display in
the worlds leading museums. Its first exhibition, The gold
. of Medea (2007), premiered in Berlins Museum Island and

fleece
,


(2007)

more than 140 exhibits were set up of items uncovered on
Vani archaeological digs: unique samples of antique gold
smithery, such as tiaras, pendants, necklaces, rings, diadems,
. buttons sewn onto shroud, bracelets, various kinds of beads,
140- bronze and iron sculptures. After appearing in Berlin, this
: exhibition circuited famous museums in Europe and the
U.S.A. from 2007-2009. On the second half of the circuit, in
, , Colchian territory (Nokalakevi, Sairkhe, Vani, Ureki, Kutai
, , si, Tsikhisdziri, Tskhinval, Racha, Choloki, Brili, Kvishari,
. , , Lechkhumi and other locations), unique items were added,
which, for the first time, left Georgias borders and aston
, , , ished millions of visitors.
,
. Overall, these unique items from Georgias cultural heritage
, fascinated more than two million visitors across the world
2007-2009 and were published in catalogues in German, French, En
- glish, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Swedish and Dutch.
. .

66 2017, N3 January 2017, N3 67



Heritage

During the tour, alongside the exhibitions, a scientific confer


ence, The country of the golden fleece, was held, in which
American and European researchers participated as speakers
together with Georgian scientists.

The exhibit contains gold and silver jewelry, bronze and


iron sculptures, weapons and items from the household and
cult and ritualist symbolitry, ceramic dishes, glass beads or
containers for ointments from the 15th century B.C to 1st-2nd
century A.D. and perfectly represents on what pedestal the
200-
technique of producing precious metals stood in Colchis.
, -
, ,
, , , Unique bronze items dating back to the 15th-17th century
, . B.C. are especially worthy of note, and these items, as based
on the results of research, received another recognition from

,
the international scientific community.

The circuit of this exhibition can be credited with introduc
- . ing the land of the golden fleece, as well as Georgia as the
, most ancient culture, to foreign audiences.

.
The Georgian National Museum is actively involved in the
, .. 8000 world of museum life, participates in scientific and institu
,
tional projects, such as, for instance, the colloquium initiat
.
ed by the New York Metropolitan Museum, GMLC (Global
. . Museum Leader Colloquium). At this event the curators of
V-III . museums from around the world gathered in the Metropol
,
itan museum, discussed the problematics of museums and

, conceived plans for future cooperation.
,
. In addition to the independant exhibits, separate exhibits
Colloquium). from the National Museum are displayed in various muse
(, , , , , ums large exhibits. We can cite the circuit of the bronze
In the international press, more than 200 articles , , , , . torso, discovered in Vani, as an example of this.
have been printed about the National Museums , , , ,
exhibitions, including in the following gazettes:
) . A sculpture at the Akhvledianis former country estate
the New York Times, Washington Post, Houston
Chronicle, Figaro, Le Monde, the Tagesspiegel
, , was discovered in Vasil Akhvledianis yard, and members
and the Economist. , of the Vani expedition nicknamed him, affectionately,
, , . Vasiko. The sculpture dates back to the 2nd century B.C.
These famous publications shed light not only
. , - The torso is preserved without any deformations, though,
on the exhibits but also on Georgian history, and
they articulated our countrys historical and
, . unfortunately, its limbs have not been fully preserved.
righteous place in common European circles. , , , The head is lost, which left the question of who he was
.. XV open. Because of its nakedness and the well-built psychi
Colchis was renown for the quality and abun-
.. I-II cal body, its possible to ascribe it as belonging to Atlas or
dance of its wine, which is believed to have been
produced there as early as 8,000 B.C., as written , . some other deity.
in an article of the Economist. ,
, , , . The style of this sculptureof a young boyis characteristic
The golden jewelry (dating back to 5th-3rd
, , , , , of the Greek strict sculpturing style of the first half of the
century B.C.) discovered at Vani settlements,
executed with the utmost technical ability as . .. , - . 5th century B.C. Its hard to believe that this original from
well as the golds unusually high quality, show XV-VII the 5th century B.C. was preserved in ancient Colchis over
us Georgias majestic culture - the Tagesspiegel. , the course of almost four centuries. This torso is probably
GMLC (Global Museum Leaders -,

68 2017, N3 January 2017, N3 69


/ Sweden

/ Holand


/ UK

a work from the Hellenistic Period, which / France

imitates works from the classical period of


Greek sculpture.

Research on the composition of the metal


confirms that the sculpture is by local / USA
sculptors.

In 2015, the sculpture of the young boy from


Vani, standing proudly, was among the up to
/ Germany
30 masterpieces from the Hellenistic era in
the Palazzo Strozzi (in Florence). In the exhi
bition Power and Pathos - Bronze sculpture ,
from the Hellenistic World, works from the / Spain
/ Greece
Georgian National Museum were shown . .. II .
along with pieces from Londons British .
Museum, New Yorks Metropolitan Museum , , / Italy
of Art, Florences Galleria degli Uffizi, Pariss , -
the Louvre, the Vatican Museum and other ,
museums from around the world. , .
.
From Florence it was moved to Wash
ingtons National Gallery and later to Los ,
Angeless Getty Museum in order to present .
Colchian culture to visitors. After the com . International Exhibitions
pletion of the Vani Archaeological Museums
wide-scale reconstruction, the torso of the .. V
young boy will be returned to the renovated . , Colchian Gold

Antikensammlung, Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (The State Museums of
museum in Vani. . , Antikensammlung, Altes Museum, Berlin), Berlin, Germany, 15 March 3 June 2007
, , . 15 - 3 2007
, .. V , Muse des Arts Asiatiques (Museum of Asian Art), Nice, France, 16 June 2 September 2007
, , . 16 - 2 2007
Vasiko is a homogeneous symbol of
Muse de la Monnaie, , . 11 - 7 2007 Muse de la Monnaie (Currency Museum), Paris, France, 11 September 7 November 2007
strength, which affirms that Georgia is the .
. , , , . 1 Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA
country with the oldest culture, one which . , 2007 24 2008 1 December 2007 24 February 2008
has always been represented as an integral , , - , - Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, New York, USA,
part of European civilization. . , . 12 - 1 2008 12 March 1 June 2008
. , , , . 21 - 1 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA, 21 June 1 September 2008
2008
Colchis still holds many secrets. This ,
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, 2 October 2008 4 January 2009
, , . 2 2008 4
regions fundamental scientific research . 2009
Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece, 20 January 6 April 2009
without any overstatementis of worldwide , , , . 20 - 6 2009
importance. . XXI Getty Villa, Los Angeles, USA, 16 July 5 October 2009
, -, . 16 - 5 2009
- Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden
, , 20 November 2009 14 February 2010
The Anaklia building is one of the most 2015 , . 20 2009 14 2010
important projects of Georgia of the 21st () Drents Museum Assen, Assen, Netherlands, 6 March 15 August 2010
, , . 6 - 15 2010
century, which will have a large influence on . , , . 5 - 20 2010 Archaeological Museum of Seville, Seville, Spain, 5 May 20 June 2010

the countrys development in multiple ca , , , , 17 IlMuseodeiFori Imperiali (Museum of Imperial Forums), Rome, Italy
17 November 2011 5 February 2012
pacities. Im confident that this project will . 2011 5 2012

also bring Georgian archaeology into a new . ,


era. I believe that many new discoveries still .
await us. Our partnership will become an
example of successful cooperation between , - Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture
of the Hellenistic World
the private and public sectors.
, , . , , . 14 - 21 , 2015 Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy. 14 March - 21 June, 2015

, -, . 28 - 1 , 2015 Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA. 28 July - 1 November, 2015

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA. 6 December , 2015 - 13 March , 2016
70 2017, N3 , , . 6 , 2015 - 13 , 2016

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