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Huge Atlas statue to guard Sicily's Temple of Zeus once more


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Areassembled, 26-foot-tall statue of the mythological Titan Atlas will soon stand guard over the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento, Sicily.

Once home to 38 towering Atlas statues, each of which seemingly supported a section of the structure’s architrave, or main beam, the Temple of Zeus was the largest Doric temple ever constructed. Built during the fifth century B.C. but never completed, the architectural wonder is now in ruins.


Speaking with the Guardian’s Lorenzo Tondo in July, when the project was first announced, Sciarratta said, “The re-installment of the statue of Atlas is the culmination of a more comprehensive restoration [of the temple].”

He added, “In the last decade, we’ve recovered and cataloged numerous artifacts that were once a part of the original structure. … The goal is to recompose piece-by-piece the trabeation [beams] of the Temple of Zeus to restore a portion of its original splendor.”


Atlas was a major figure in Greek mythology. One of the Titans, a race of pre-Olympian gods descended from Uranus (the Sky or Heavens) and Gaia (the Earth), he was forced to hold the world atop his shoulders after losing a war against Zeus and the other Olympian gods—a burden mirrored in the Temple of Zeus’ telamones.

“The idea is to reposition one of these Atlases in front of the temple,” Sciarratta told the Guardian. “So that it may serve as a guardian of the structure dedicated to the father of the gods.”



Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/atlas-statue-will-stand-again-180975996/

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That place is 1 hour away from where I live :flutter: that place is so so breathtaking, being in that valley surrounded by temples is like reliving our Greek origins. Every time I go there I feel lucky to live in such a beautiful island full of nature and history :flutter: but at the same time unfortunately is full of negative sides :toofunny:

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I've been there twice. Really a beautiful and intriguing site. The structure on the first picture is a reconstruction, the structure in the museum (last pic) is real.

I don't know how I feel about reconstructing the temple. This undertaking sounds like it's motivation is more commercial than historic/scientific. A better idea would be to wait for new innovations like augmented reality to show what it once looked like

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