Callimachus Nike Monument ‘Restored’

From the ANA:

The Nike Monument erected in honour of the ancient military commander Callimachus after the Battle of Marathon, its various surviving shards reassembled for the first time to resemble the form they would have had in antiquity, was unveiled in the new Acropolis Museum on Tuesday by Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos.

In statements at the unveiling, Geroulanos emphasised the importance of the monument 2,500 years after the historic battle, an event broadly regarded as a pivotal moment in the history of European culture.

In 490 B.C. when the Battle of Marathon took place Callimachus was then a ‘polemarch’ or supreme military commander of Athens. With the 10 Athenian generals evenly divided over whether to do battle or surrender to the Persian invasion force, it was he that cast the deciding vote that sent the Athenians into battle and on to their final victory over the Persian Empire.

“Everything now rests of you,” Geroulanos said, quoting directly from the description given by the ancient historian Herodotus of a hypothetical conversation between Callimachus and Miltiades – the general that led the battle and earned Greeks their victory – just before the polemarch cast his vote.

“Today we are not unveiling the monument of just another general but a monument to a democratic process that changed the course of history,” the minister stressed.

Callimachus took part in the battle himself, leading the right wing of the Greek army, but was killed during the fighting. His statue was erected atop of the Athens Acropolis.

According to Prof. Dimitris Pantermalis, the curator of the new Acropolis Museum, the monument has been reconstructed in a modern fashion, using only the original shards in their correct positions, so that a visitor might be able to see the authentic version.

The remnants of the 4.68-metre monument have been affixed to a metal column that holds the various parts in place and is built so that additional fragments might be attached if they are found. It is on display in the museum’s Archaic Monuments’ section.

A short distance from the original there also stands a copy showing archaeologists’ best estimate of what the monument might have looked like when it was whole.

The unveiling of the Nike monument was among a series of events scheduled by the culture and tourism ministry to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary since the Battle of Marathon, which will culminate in the holding of the 28th Classic Athens Marathon on Sunday, in which more than 20,000 athletes from all over the world will take part.

Somewhat strangely, the Xinhua coverage seems to have the best photo:

From Xinhua

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