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Opa! The World’s Largest Children’s Museum Celebrates A Unique Global Partnership — Bringing Ancient and Modern Greece to Indianapolis

Thursday, November 15, 2018

So much of what we know today has its roots in Ancient Greece. Democracy, architecture, and the arts as we know them today link us to this Mediterranean country of centuries ago. Inventions ranging from mathematics to modern science, Olympic Games and formal theater first appeared in Greece. The nation’s culture is so important that many schools in America make it a priority to include Greece as part of their curriculum. And the world’s largest children’s museum will exhibit a trove of rare Ancient Greek artifacts and interpret the stories behind them.

The glory of the past meets the people of the present as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis partners with the Greek Ministry of Culture for an international collaboration of great magnitude for three exhibits. 

  • Treasures of Ancient Greece, made possible with financial support from the Allen Whitehall Clowes Charitable Foundation will explore the rich history and tradition that laid the foundation for today’s world as we know it. It will open June 15, 2019.
  • Take Me There:® Greece presented by Ice Miller will introduce families to today’s culture from housing to food to the environment and the arts. It will open June 15, 2019.
  • The third, yet to be named, exhibit revolves around dinosaurs and is one that The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is creating for Greece to assist that country with one of its first comprehensive exhibits based on paleontology. Opening date TBD.

“This kind of collaboration is essential to both countries to help us learn about one another on a global scale,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum. “The rare antiquities we will have on loan from Greece show a civilization that produced advanced technology, innovative systems of thinking, a brilliant arts and architecture aesthetic, and an intricate universe of legend and mythology that provide the foundation on which western culture was built. It is through that lens we can better understand the world in which we live today.”  

One of the extraordinary antiquities that will be featured is an exact replica of the Antikythera mechanism. “It is the first example in the world of a computer. It is very old and believed to be from the end of the second century B.C.,” stated Dr. Maria Vlazaki, Secretary General, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport. 

“It was found by divers in the beginning of the 20th century close to the island of Antikythera and after being excavated by Jacques Cousteau and the Greek Ecological Service.  Even today we have excavations in the same area of the shipwreck of the Antikythera because it was found in the shipwreck with other objects and with many statues. We’re waiting for more results about this shipwreck and what was together with the Antikythera mechanism.” 

Fine art will also be included such as an amazing marble sculpture of Artemis along with other significant marble and bronze sculptures. “The great bronze Poseidon or Zeus is completely stunning, from every angle. As one of the rare remaining bronzes of the classical period (on which Greek art was based for hundreds of years), this sculpture has to be the greatest of the gods as well as the most perfectly formed and sculpted of sculptures,” said, Elizabeth King Filiotis, archaeologist.

Take Me There:® Greece will be one of the largest exhibitions on contemporary Greece ever mounted in the United States. The Children’s Museum will introduce families to the modern country, its people, the culture, food, housing, music and environment in which Greeks live today.  

Support for Treasures of Ancient Greece is provided by Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc. Take Me There:®  Greece is made possible by lead gifts from Lilly Endowment Inc., Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Inc., The Lilly Family, Mrs. Yvonne Shaheen, Sarah and John Lechleiter, the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services, Jane and Steve Marmon, Susan and Jim Naus, and Polly Hix.

About The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, Instagram@childrensmuseum, YouTube.com/IndyTCM, and Facebook.