Professor Kate O’Mara
21 March 13
The Parthenon! During my spring break I took a trip to “the Athens of the south”, Nashville Tennessee. Nashville is home to one of the most historic replicas of all time, the Parthenon. The Parthenon was originally a temple in Greece that was dedicated to the goddess, Athena who was the patron, or guardian of the people. The construction of the Parthenon began in 447 BC and finally was concluded in 438 BC. The Parthenon is an important historic building of Classical Greece that today remains demolished and reduced to rubble.
In 1897, Nashville started constructing the full-scale replica to celebrate the Tennessee Centennial and International exposition. The Parthenon’s main attraction is the radiant goddess, Athena. Originally, Athena was made of Ivory and plates of gold fixed onto a wooden base however; Nashville’s modern replica was created from gypsum cement and fiberglass. When I first saw her I was awe-struck because the gold materials she is made of glows, giving her the presentation a goddess deserves. She has a very stoic look on her face but, the detail in her clothing and color are phenomenal. Athena is in the center of a large room to give spectators the room to look up, as well as observe the base that is decorated with classical Romanesque figures. Along with the serpent, shield, and spear, she holds Nike, the goddess of victory, in her right hand. Nike alone stands 6’4’’ tall! The shield she possesses is a piece of art itself, covered in intricate design behind the serpent. In the same room on her right, Athena is accompanied by the Elgin casts that are actual artistic fragments of sculptures from the original Parthenon. Though they are only pieces, they all have…