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Islanders: The Making of the Mediterranean

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"Spellbinding… calling to mind Picasso and Brancusi at every turn." — The Observer

"Many pieces have never ventured overseas… lovers of the ancient world should seize this chance." — The Times

"There’s much to admire"
— The Telegraph

— The Week

Bringing together extraordinary antiquities, Islanders: The Making of the Mediterranean takes visitors on a 4,000-year journey from life in the ancient Mediterranean to today.

Many of the more than 200 objects from three of the largest Mediterranean islands, Cyprus, Crete and Sardinia will be seen in the UK for the first time. They help us understand the ways these island cultures reflected, and even shaped the larger Mediterranean world with its migrations and movement of peoples. And they reveal how islanders lived every day, their communities, memories, myths, art and creativity.

Highlights include striking bronze votive figurines made around 4,000 years ago by the Nuragic people of Sardinia; exquisite pottery, jewellery and bronze figures from the palaces, sanctuaries and caves of Minoan Crete; and from the sanctuary of Agia Eirini, a selection of clay-modelled humans, deities, sphinxes and horse-drawn chariots that reveal the complexities of Cypriot society in the 6th and 7th century BCE.

The exhibition, curated by Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou in partnership with the Ambassador of Greece to the United Kingdom and the High Commissioner of Cyprus in the United Kingdom, is part of the 'Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the Large Mediterranean Islands' project, 2019 - 2023.

The exhibition is organised in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece; the Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Cyprus; and the National Archaeological Museum, Cagliari, Sardinia.

Supported by:

This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number AH/S012478/1]

We would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of the Pouroulis Foundation, the High Commission of Cyprus in the UK and other supporters who have made the research project and exhibition possible.

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