August 18, 2006 - Helsinki City Art Museum - ATHOS Monastic life on the Holy Mountain
August 18, 2006

ATHOS Monastic life on the Holy Mountain

Virgin of Iviron Portaitissa, second half of the 17th c.
Copyright: State Historical Museum, Russia

ATHOS Monastic life on the Holy Mountain
18th AUGUST 2006-21st JANUARY 2007

Helsinki City Art Museum –
Art Museum Tennis Palace
Salomonkatu 15, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. 358 (0)9 310 87001

Open: Tue-Sun 1120.30

Finland has the unique opportunity to present treasures from the legendary Mount Athos now being exhibited for the first time outside Greece.

This major exhibition of Byzantine art at Art Museum Tennis Palace presents over 600 works from a period spanning more than a thousand years including centuries-old precious icons, rare manuscripts, unique sacral objects, magnificent textiles, wood engravings and other works of art such as jewellery, crosses, maps, photographs and paintings. A third of the works are on loan from nine Athonite monasteries, and these are complemented with important loans from 15 major European museums.

The extraordinary exhibition conception by Museum Director Berndt Arell and Scenographer Ralf Förström will take the visitor on a spiritual journey through a monastery-like space where visitors can experience Orthodox spirituality, learning about the 1000 years of history and present of Mount Athos, its daily life and festivities, and the role of the monastic community as a guardian of Byzantine culture.

To complement the historical art works in the exhibition, contemporary paintings and photography represent the vivid visual culture still alive today on the Holy Mountain.

Works on loan from:
Greece, Mount Athos monasteries: Iviron, Dionisiou, Pantokrator, Simonopetra, St Paul´s, Stavronikita, Xenophontos, Grigoriou and Esphigmenou. Greece: Ministry of Culture, Benaki Museum and Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki. Russia: State Tretyakov Gallery, State Historical Museum, Andrey Rublev Museum, Sergiev Posad Museum, Russian State Archives, Hermitage Museum and State Russian Museum. Cyprus: Archbishop Makarios III Foundation. Serbia: National Museum, Museum of Applied Art. Germany: Ikonen-Museum Recklinghausen, Archaeological State Collection/Museum for Prehistoric and Early History, Munich

Donated funds: Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation, J.F Costopoulos Foundation, A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Finland

Exhibition supporters:
Greece: the Holy Community of Mount Athos, the Ministry of Culture, Kedak, the Athonite Centre and the Embassy of Finland in Greece. Finland: the Ministry of Education, the Embassy of Greece in Finland, the Orthodox Church of Finland, Pyhän Athosvuoren Ystävät ry (Friends of the Holy Mount Athos), and the Department of Comparative Religion of the University of Helsinki.

A varied programme of events will offer memorable experiences and information to visitors of all ages. It will include icon-painting courses, demonstrations, workshops, concerts and lectures. A comprehensive catalogue on life on Mount Athos and its art treasures will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

The exhibition has been organised by the Helsinki City Art Museum and co-ordinated by Curator Mikko Oranen.

Further information:
Museum Director Berndt Arell/Athos exhibition curator
tel. 358 (0)9 310 87008, mobile 358 (0)50 341 6522
Curator Mikko Oranen/Athos exhibition co-ordinator
tel. 358 (0)9 310 87011, mobile 358 (0)50 345 8537
Educational Curator Arja Miller
tel. 358 (0)9 310 87007, mobile 358 (0)50 336 1980
Press Officer Karri Buchert
tel. 358 (0)9 310 87004, mobile 358 (0)50 304 6707

Guided tours: Guided tours are free of charge in Finnish on Wednesdays at 18.00, and on Saturdays and Sundays at 14.00, in Swedish on the first and third Sunday of every month at 15.00, in English on the second Sunday of every month at 15.00, and in Russian on the first Sunday of every month at 15.00. To book a private tour, please call 358 (0)9 310 87003.

Helsinki City Art Museum
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