Verdex
Verdex
17 January 2023, 06:33

Cypriot Antiquities from the Chesnola Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Cypriot Antiquities from the Chesnola Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City owes its wealth to renowned collectors who have donated art and archaeological finds. One such collector was the 19th-century Italian diplomat and amateur archaeologist Luigi Palma di Cesnola. He served in the American Civil War for which he received a medal, served as US consul in Cyprus, and served as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art until his death in 1904.
While in Cyprus, Chesnola participated in the excavations of the ancient city of Kourion, founded by the Mycenaeans in the 12th century BC. e. The time range of the Chesnola collection covers the period from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity. Several ships were used to transport 35 thousand artifacts, one of which, unfortunately, sank.
True, everything could have happened differently - the collection almost got to France. Long before the finds were sent to New York, Napoleon III became interested in them, wishing to buy them for the Louvre. However, Chesnola decided to move the collection to London, where he organized a sensational exhibition of Cypriot antiquities. The exhibits interested representatives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who connected influential magnates to make a grandiose acquisition. Chesnola himself supervised the installation of exhibits in the halls of the museum.
The collector wrote the book "Cyprus, its ancient Cities, Tombs and Temples", which became useful for many antiquarians of that time. He described his collection in the Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities, published in three volumes.

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