802 – Review of the Paris exhibition

The exhibition is thoughtfully curated with bilingual explanations of each major part. The organizers have taken place to situate the Mt.Athos collection within the context of the Byzantine times. As such, viewers can better appreciate their historical significance. About 200 works of art are meticulously displayed at the Petit Palais, many of which have never been seen outside the walls of their monastery. They range from the 9th to the 18th century and were taken from 9 monasteries. There are a number of magnificent icons as well as beautiful manuscripts and Psalters that have retained their lustrous illustrations (often gold was the metal of choice for the book’s bindings), a good number of parchments that are actually official decrees from the Byzantine emperors granting protection to the monasteries or deeding over land to their exclusive use and some beautiful religious inspired jewelry. All of them are beautifully and lovingly preserved. Considering their great age, this is quite a feat on the part of their guardians.
This is definitely the one exhibition of the year you musn’t miss. After all, we don’t know when another opportunity like this will come along…

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