Are you, perhaps, anywhere near Athens from now to October 31? If you are, you probably have a lot of things to do and see, but you might want to make time for a new exposition at the National Archaeological Museum celebrating the common cultural destiny of Greece and Italy and its impact on European culture.

Athens to display 25 masterpieces from Greece & Italy
A sculptural pairing of the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton dating to the
2nd century BC on loan from Naples. These are Roman copies of the
Athenian originals, probably from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli
[Credit: National Archaeological Museum of Greece]
The Archaeology News Network reports that the exhibition is entitled 'Classicism and Europe: The destiny of Greece and Italy'. It features twenty-five masterpieces from Greece’s and Italy’s major museums, spanning a period of 4,500 years, from the early prehistoric civilizations of the Aegean to the Archaic era of the 6th century BC. It represents the rise of democracy in ancient Greece and then the rise of Christianity through Byzantine art, right through the Renaissance, featuring works by El Greco and Mattia Preti and ending in the 20th century.

The exhibition was launched in Italy on March 28, to mark the start of the Italian presidency of the European Union, which succeeded that of Greece. At the 28th of August, the exhibition opened in Greece. The exhibition has already been presented in at Rome’s Presidential Quirinale Palace. reports that the Greek exhibits include some iconic works from the country’s most important museums: the relief of 'Thinking Athena’ from the Acropolis (460 BC – Acropolis Museum) a Linear B clay tablet from Pylos (late 13th century – National  Archaeological Museum), two Cycladic figurines from Naxos (3000 BC – National Archaeological Museum), a rhyton shaped bullhead from the palace of Zakros (Minoan period- Archaeological Museum of Heraklion). The collection further includes Greek paintings, such as the 12th century 'Our Lady of Mercy' from the Byzantine and Christian Museum, as well as El Greco’s 'St. Peter' from the National Gallery.

The Italian exhibits include the Sculptural Group of the Tyrannicides – Harmodius and Aristogeiton (2nd Century AD – Naples, National Archaeological Museum), Ludovisi Acrolith (480 – 470 BC – Rome, National Roman Museum, Altemps Palace) and Caravaggio painting 'John the Baptist' (1605-1606 – Rome, National Gallery of Ancient Art of Corsini Palace).