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The mysteries of Samothrace in the Acropolis Museum

17 June 2015 / 19:06:01  GRReporter
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On the eve of its sixth anniversary the Acropolis Museum is launching a series of exhibitions within which it will present major works from antiquity that have been discovered in various places across Greece.

The first thematic exhibition is dedicated to the famous mystery cults of the Great Gods of Samothrace to whom the rulers of the Hellenistic kingdoms gave significant buildings. It contains 252 exhibits, including architectural elements, sculptures, containers, figures, inscriptions and articles that are grouped according to their relationship with the sanctuary.

The mystery cults in Samothrace were the most famous in antiquity, along with the Eleusinian ones. The strict instructions to participants to keep secret the content of the rituals are the reason why we know very little about them today. The excavations around the sanctuary in Samothrace however have brought to light ritual buildings and containers that have allowed archaeologists to uncover some details.

Those who were initiated into the rituals believed that they would escape major dangers of the sea by worshiping the great gods and would become more respected and fair people because they were initiated into the mysteries. The rituals were performed at night, in front of the altar lit by torches. There, the candidate to be initiated into the mysteries had to participate in a purification ritual, confess his or her greatest sin, listen to the sermon filled with mythical stories, and witness the disclosure of the sacred symbols after a purple belt was put around his or her waist.

The exhibition will be open for visitors to the Acropolis Museum on its anniversary, 20 June. Visitors will be able to see it the same day from 9:00 pm to midnight.

At the same time, the philharmonic orchestra and choir of Athens municipality will perform melodies of the years between the two World Wars and from Greek theatre and operetta works in a concert in the museum courtyard entitled "Scent of old Athens".

The exhibitions at the museum and its restaurant will be open from 08:00 am to midnight, and the ticket price will be reduced from 5 euro to 3 euro.

On Sunday, 21 June, at 10:00 am, the hall of the museum will house a scientific meeting that will present the latest archaeological discoveries on the island of Samothrace.

The exhibition "Samothrace: Mysteries of the Great Gods" is organized with the assistance of the archaeological services in the areas of Evros and Rodopi and will run until 30 September 2015.

More photos of the exhibits are available in our photo gallery.

Tags: HistoryAcropolis MuseumЕxhibitionМysteries of SamothraceCultGreat gods
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