NEW AT THE FITZ Islanders
Throughout history, islands have held a special allure, depicted as remote, romanticised and often mysterious places – quite unlike the mainland. This idea is explored in the Fitzwilliam’s major new exhibition, Islanders: The Making of the Mediterranean , which transports the viewer back thousands of years through a spellbinding collection of over 200 Mediterranean antiquities – many of which have never before travelled overseas. Among the pieces on display are Sardinia’s famous bronze votive figurines (bronzetti), which are on loan to the UK for the first time from the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari. A relic from the 4,000-year-old Nuragic civilisation (about which no written records exist), the bronzetti depict warriors, ships and imaginary entities – illuminating our understanding of this people’s mythological and religious identity. “For the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, the participation in the exhibition and in the connected research project is a great opportunity of underlining the richness and manifoldness of Sardinian Mediterranean connections through the ages,” comments Dr Francesco Muscolino, director of the National Archaeological Museum. “The inclusion of Cagliari museum antiquities, most of which have never travelled to the UK or abroad, gives a substantial contribution in creating comparisons with similar objects belonging to coeval insular civilisations, thus vividly showing the links among some of the main Mediterranean islands.” Also on display will be exquisite pottery, jewellery and bronze figures from the palaces and caves of Minoan Crete, as well as the figurines commonly referred to as the ‘terracotta army of Cyprus’. On loan from the Archaeological Museum of Nicosia for the first time, these incredible clay figures were discovered in 1929 at the sanctuary of Agia Eirini, placed as divine offerings around a limestone altar within a large, open-air court. Offering an insight into Cypriot society in the sixth and seventh centuries BCE, depictions include larger-than-life human figures, deities, monsters and horse-drawn carriages. The exhibition runs until 4 June.
MARE NOSTRUM The exhibition is curated by Dr Christophilopoulou in partnership with the Greek ambassador to the UK as part of the project ‘Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the Large Mediterranean Islands’
10 MAY 2023 CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK
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