Head of a horse of Selene from the east pediment of the Parthenon, British Museum, London

Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King. Today I’ll be taking you on a video and photographic tour of the Head of a horse of Selene from the east pediment of the Parthenon, British Museum, London.

As always, I take all the photos and videos myself on location, ensuring you get an up-close and personal view of the fascinating world of art and culture. I’ll be popping in and out with commentary as this video progresses but for now let’s take a close up look.

The Parthenon’s east pediment depicts the goddess Athena’s birth from her father Zeus’ head. In the corners, the time of day is marked by Helios, the sun god’s chariot rising at dawn and Selene, the Moon goddess, sinking below the horizon. This sculpture is widely celebrated, capturing the essence of the strain felt by a creature pulling the Moon’s chariot through the night sky.

Constructed between 447 BC and 432 BC, the Parthenon Sculptures comprise various forms of marble architectural adornments extracted from the temple of Athena, situated on the Acropolis in Athens. The Parthenon, with a diverse history as a temple, church, mosque, and now an archaeological site, has endured substantial damage over the years. Notably, an explosion in 1687, during its use as an ammunition store, reduced it to ruins. Approximately half of the initial architectural embellishments have vanished over centuries, making complete reconstruction or reunion with its sculptural elements impossible.

If we speak to the British museum then it’s been decided that the surviving sculptures are optimally observed and preserved in museums, it is universally accepted that these relics are best suited for display in such institutions. If we speak to Greece, then they’re simply stolen and should be returned to Greece. In 2009, Athens inaugurated the Acropolis Museum to house the remaining sculptures in Greece, offering a comprehensive insight into the ancient history of the Acropolis and its adjacent religious sanctuaries and civic structures. These remnants of the 5th-century BC Parthenon, symbolize the dominance of Athens during that era.

By Anthony King (c)