A petrifying experience – Medusa-related objects for Coral exhibition
Details of the Manchester Museums’ new coral exhibition
Some time ago Dmitri Logunov, Curator of Entomology at the Manchester Museum, and Marion Endt-Jones, who is curating the Coral: Something Rich and Strange exhibition (29th November 2013-16th March 2014), visited the archaeology store to select objects. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive because we don’t really have anything made of coral in the archaeology collection but it turned out there was a really good link with the ancient Greek and Roman collections in the form of representations of Medusa. The connection between coral and Medusa is a passage in Ovid’s Metamorphoses ((4.782-86).
The Greek hero Perseus, with the help of a cap that made him invisible, a sickle-shaped sword, a special satchel, and winged shoes, given to him by the god Hermes, chopped off Medusa’s head and escaped. A copper alloy figurine in the archaeology collection, apparently depicting the Hermes, shows the god wearing a winged helmet and sandals, and carrying a bag…
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