Monday, 18 December 2017 | News today: 14

It is the first time we have so many artifacts in one place

I would like to make an exclusive announcement that the number of 6.000 artifacts on 6.000 square meters has now risen to 7.800, with tendency to grow

For the first time, the public will have an opportunity to see in one place so many artifacts that so far have been kept in museums and their depots. In accordance with the court ruling, various artifacts that have been seized in the Phalanx police action were handed over to the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia and now decorate the display cases of the Museum, says Vesela Cestoeva, director of the new Archaeological Museum of Macedonia, located in Skopje.

Macedonia now has a representative Archaeological Museum to count itself into the world cultural map of such institutions. Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska called it ‘museum of the 21st century’. How many artifacts are displayed at the moment, and how many will be displayed later on? What kind of technologies does the facility has and what type of presentations does it offer to visitors?

CESTOEVA: After a bit over three decades, the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia has finally got a contemporary museum building in the center of Skopje, which is already a remarkable building in the city. It is unique for two reasons – its architectonic grandiosity and splendid architecture (neoclassicism) and its location on Vardar river esplanade – the right place for presentation of our valuable cultural heritage.

I would like to make an exclusive announcement that the number of 6.000 artifacts on 6.000 square meters has now risen to 7.800, with tendency to grow.

The permanent display consists of a broad time period – from the palaeolith, 40.000 years BC, up until the period of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century.

The facility disposes of most sophisticated museum technology according to most contemporary museum standards, with video animations, interactive LED-pods and screens, while ambient music authentically captures our vast cultural heritage.

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The copy of Alexander’s sarcophagus from the 4th century BC, whose original is displayed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, is one of the most attractive exhibits in the Archaeological Museum in Skopje. The only exhibit that might be equally attractive is the Modest Venus. I take it the sarcophagus and the entire museum are properly secured?

CESTOEVA: Apart from the replica of Alexander’s sarcophagus, which has a special place in the left wing of the Museum ground-floor and is a renowned architecture of the Macedonian type of temples with picturesque motives of the Battle of Issus, we also have the master pieces of ancient art created in Macedonia and along with Venus Pudica assemble the rich lapidary collection.

As for the video surveillance, it does not focus solely to single artifacts, but it offers 24/7 monitoring of the entire area with both indoor and outdoor cameras, controlled by a special video navigation software, in accordance with top world standards.

The Museum also exhibits items seized in the Phalanx 1 police operation. Which items precisely? How valuable are they and where they were found?

CESTOEVA: In accordance with the court ruling, various artifacts that have been seized in the Phalanx police action were handed over to the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia and now decorate the display cases of the Museum. The artifacts include coins, jewelry, bronze statuettes, terracotta figurines, which, according to their typological characteristics, originate from diverse archaeological sites and have immense value.

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Displaying the artifacts in the new Museum building means they are finally out of the depots. Will the golden artifacts that are exhibited in Germany at the moment join this display?

CESTOEVA: For the first time, the public will have an opportunity to see in one place so many artifacts that so far have been kept in museums and their depots. The golden artifacts that were part of the exhibition in Germany as part of the “Clash of Cultures” project, will become part of the national display of the Archaeological Museum no earlier than November 16.

These days, the Macedonian public will be able to see another unique exhibition. What is it about?

CESTOEVA: I would like to announce the exhibition of the Ravenna mosaics under the auspices of the Macedonian Culture Ministry in cooperation with the Municipality of Ravenna and the Macedonian Embassy in Italy, which will be displayed in the Archaeological Museum on October 24 at 7 pm. In the future, the Museum will be open for cooperation with all international and domestic institutions in presenting the rich cultural heritage.

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By: Nevena Popovska

Photo: A. Ivanovski