The Archaeological Museum of Chania welcomes the temporary exhibition “BΑΤΗ ΤΙΜΕ! Body – Water – Dialogues”, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports – Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania.
The exhibition is realised based on the idea of and in partnership with the Musee des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee (MuCEM | Marseilles). Through 137 ancient, medieval and contemporary objects and artworks – from the collections of the Archaeological Museum of Chania and the MuCEM, as well as other museums and collections in Greece and France – an original historical and artistic osmosis is attempted, engaging in a constant dialogue with the various aspects of bathing practices through time, a vital element of Mediterranean cultures.
The Abduction of Europa by Jean-Rene Gauguin, the Aphrodite of Pavlos Samios and the Hellenistic statuette of the goddess introduce us to the emblematic value of water in the mythological cosmogony of the gods, while The Baptism of Christ by Domenicos Theotocopoulos and the ritual vases of the Classical era highlight the role played by water in the rites of passage of human life. Private bathing practices are outlined down the centuries through ancient, medieval and contemporary objects. The significance of public baths as places of wellness and socialising from antiquity to the hammam unfolds through paintings by artists of the Flemish School and leading Orientalists (Jean-Leon Gerome, Theodore Ralli). From Paul Cezanne’s Bathers to the posters of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, the unique experience offered by contact with nature and the quintessential Mediterranean landscape of sun and sea is celebrated. Lastly, important aspects of the history of soap are documented, centred on Marseilles and the AVEA factory in Chania, underlining the close ties between the two cities through numerous exhibits such as a variety of French posters and objects from the long history of soap production at the AVEA factory.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue available in two languages (English and Greek).
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