Exhibition of Thracian Treasures from Bulgaria to Open in Louvre
The Louvre in Paris is to show for the first time on Tuesday The Epic of the Thracian Kings, an exhibition of possessions of Thracian King Seuthes III, which arrived there from Bulgaria in March.
Visitors of the landmark French museum will be able to enjoy 1 628 artifacts, with many of the items to be on display in what was one the bedroom of King Louis XIV, "the Sun King". Apart from this, three other halls within the Richelieu Wing will feature items from the treasures.
Replicas of four Thracian tombs from Central Bulgaria will also be on display, along with other valuable items.
But a life-size head of Thracian ruler Seuthes III, made of bronze with alabaster eyes (which are also covered with a layer of glass paste), will be the central piece and has already become something of a symbol for the artifacts.
The exhibition will not be just another show of Thracian gold, but "will offer the general public an opportunity to gain broader insight into this culture," Francoise Gaultier, the director of Louvre's Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, is quoted by AFP news agency as saying.
Curators hope it will also make visitors more familiar with everyday life of Thracians, also showing tools used to carve some of the pieces.
The collection that was transported from Bulgaria to Paris in the second half of March includes objects from as many as 17 museums located across Bulgaria.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and both Bulgaria and France's Culture Ministers, Vezhdi Rashidov and Fleur Pellerin, have said they will attend the opening.
UNESCO head Irina Bokova and EU Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva will also be among the special guests.
The exhibition will be on display until July 20.
"I am proud that the name of Bulgaria has shine for the first time on the facade of the Louvre," Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov told daily Standart over the phone on Sunday. Rashidov is credited with bringing the exhibition to the world-famous museum after a bet with its former Director Henri Loyette.
His estimates suggest that the collection could be seen by up to 4 million visitors.
Insurance value of the treasures is estimated at EUR 165 M.
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