Troy: myth and reality ★★★★★ The British Museum | Until March 8, 2020


The story of Troy has captivated people for over three thousand years and this exhibition does a brilliant job of exploring that fascination. Using over three hundred objects borrowed from both private and public lenders the exhibition is broken into three parts: the stories of Homer are retold, the excavation of Troy is explored and the influence of these powerful narratives on the arts is delineated. For those unfamiliar with the Iliad and the Odyssey Part I is a wonderful introduction to them, and for those of us who grew up with these epics it is a delightful fresh look. What great fun it is to see the ancient papyrus of schoolchildren copying out lines from Homer's work and to recognise their place in the long tradition of education that surrounds these great tales. With references to the Aeneid and Greek tragedies Troy's myths are told through some amazingly beautiful pieces, but the exhibition also offers a fascinating look at the search for the real Troy in Part II. The controversial involvement of amateur archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann is an intriguing saga in and of itself and the search for the "real" Troy could form the basis of its own exhibition. And then there is the continuing influence of these stories. Their archetypal quests embodying humanity's virtues and follies, and their pursuits of love and validation continue to inspire artists to the present day. This exhibition is a journey you need to take!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until March 8, 2020
Sun - Thu: 10 am - 4 pm, Fri: 10 am - 7 pm
The British Museum
Nearest tube: Russell Square
https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/troy-myth-and-reality

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