The State Hermitage Museum’s “Gateway to History” exhibition made its debut at the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens on Wednesday, following an official inauguration ceremony co-hosted by Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
The aim of the exhibition, according to BCM director Aikaterini Delaporta, is to introduce the Greek public to a particularly fascinating period in the history of art, spanning from the 15th century up until the present day.
“Gateway to History” is divided into two main sections, the first of which is dedicated to miniatures and personal effects of the Russian royalty, housed in the main building. The second features works of art from the Renaissance period up to the 20th century in BCM’s gallery of temporary collections.
Highlights in the main building include gold decorative buckles and jewelry crafted by the peoples of the northern shores of the Black Sea as well as Scythian artifacts with strong Greek influence, artifacts from the Hellenistic era, and elaborately embellished personal items owned by Russian nobility.
Notable works from the second section of Gateway to History include masterpieces by El Greco, Rubens, Caravaggio, Canova and Rodin.
The exhibition, described by culture and sports ministry secretary general Maria Andreadaki-Blazaki as having an “encyclopedic spirit,” is considered the foremost event marking “Greece–Russia Year 2016,” and will run until February 26, 2017.