The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.
Today the Parthenon, which functions as an art museum, stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, a large public park just west of downtown Nashville. Alan LeQuire's 1990 re-creation of the Athena Parthenos statue is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building is a full-scale replica of the Athenian original; and the statue of Athena Parthenos within is a reconstruction of the long lost original to careful scholarly standards: she is cuirassed and helmeted, carries a shield on her left arm and a small (6 ft) statue of Nike (Victory) in her right palm, and stands 42 feet (13 m) high, gilt with more than eight pounds of gold leaf; an equally colossal serpent rears its head between her and her shield. Since the building is complete and its decorations were polychromed (painted in colors) as close to the presumed original as possible, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos (the east room of the main hall) are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 BC. Many fragments of the originals are housed in the British Museum in London. Others are at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.
March 16th, 2014
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