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Return of the Gods heads to the World Museum this April

Discover the origin stories of the original influencers, the Olympian gods, and get drawn into a fascinating world where the ancient gods were an important part of everyday life, in Return of the Gods at World Museum, opening 28th April.

The exhibition features a stunning collection of over 100 sculptures and objects never before displayed together, that will immerse you in the ancient world and the heroes of the time. 

Explore the legends of the gods and goddesses from Ancient Greece and Rome in this family- friendly exhibition, including some of the most well-known characters, such as Zeus, the king of the gods, Athena the goddess of wisdom and war, and Hercules, the hero.

Object highlights include incredible two-metre-high statues of Zeus, Aphrodite, and Athena and amphoras (two handled ceramic pots) more than 2000 years old, illustrated with the legends of the time and graffitied with their artist’s tag. Originally collected by the 18th century antiquarian Henry Blundell of Sefton, this is the first time this significant collection of sculptures will be displayed on such a scale.

Myths come to life as you learn how Apollo, god of music, slayed a snake to build his temple and Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, turned a shepherd into a stag so she could bathe in peace. Discover why people held Magic Gems to gain protection and learn which mythical symbols can still be seen in our everyday lives. 

Visitors will be welcomed into the luxury of a Roman villa to explore the joys of Roman feasts and discover how Emperors and the Imperial families were immortalised after death, before entering a dark and ethereal space to explore the underworld in a theatrical display featuring the three-headed dog, Cerberus, guardian of the gates of Hades.

Chrissy Partheni, Curator, Classical Antiquities at World Museum said:

“We want the characters of the gods and heroes and their interaction with mortals to shine, so we will be presenting the collections in a new, dramatic way, not simply as beautiful art objects. We want visitors to immerse themselves in the fantastic tales and myths of the classical antiquity world and to feel they are taking part in public festivals, games and in the worship of special cults of ancient Greece and Rome.”

Return of the Gods showcases the outstanding classical sculptures held by World Museum, part of National Museums Liverpool. These internationally important sculptures are comparable in significance and quality to the Charles Townley collection at the British Museum and to Roman sculptures at the Vatican and the Louvre.

A packed programme of events will accompany the exhibition, including regular family activities and the launch of a brand new four-week short course exploring 3000 years of Ancient Greek History in the summer. A special offline dating event, Curse, Marry, Ghost (hopefully Cupid will strike and not Nemesis!) in collaboration with Bored of Dating Apps will take place in spring. 

National Museums Liverpool will also be offering a chance to explore the ancient world through hands-on investigations of artefacts from Ancient Greece and Rome. For Key Stage 2 school years 4, 5 and 6.

Tickets: Adults £5. Members and children under 17 go free. 

Visitor contributions enable us to offer a rich programme of exhibitions and events, supports us in caring for our internationally known collections and reach thousands of young people each year.  

For further information visit liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/returnofthegods  

Follow @World_Museum on Twitter, Facebook: World Museum and Instagram @WorldMuseum_

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