The virtual museum of Alexander the Great, which through advanced information technology will present the personality and the legacy of the Macedonian king to the whole world, is expected to be completed at the end of 2015, archaeologist Angeliki Kottaridou said this January. Mrs Kottaridou is the head of the Imathia Antiquities Ephorate and leader of the museum project.
“Our idea was to create an open museum to communicate with visitors and to be connected to the entire region.
A five hour documentary, seven thematic units, 304 objects illustrative of the Hellenistic world and 3,500 texts are included in this virtual museum which covers the beginning of Macedonia to the modern studies of the life and achievements of Alexander the Great. The Greek news agency AMNA reports that the museum aims to become a forum for discussion of scientists who study the Hellenistic period. The project began in 2000 when a team of archaeologists travelled to India and Bactria, tracking the Macedonian king’s path in order to gather the necessary information for the virtual museum.
The legendary general whose stories still amaze the public will be presented in an eloquent and appealing way using state of the art technology, all produced by the archaeologists involved in the excavations in the ancient capital of Macedonia Aigai, now called Vergina in northwestern Greece.
I do not want to find the buried Alexander, I am not interested in finding buried bones and I do not think I will find them. I prefer to look for his living memory,”
Ms. Kottaridou, as head of the archaeological service in the Imathia area, commented on the progress for the opening of a museum in Aigai: “Our idea was to create an open museum to communicate with visitors and to be connected to the entire region. We have created “halls” in various places in the huge archaeological park of 500 acres that includes the ancient graves and tombs. We have planted 3,000 trees, as our goal is to recreate the atmosphere of that era. The central archaeological council has already approved our idea to conduct excavations in front of visitors, which they will see in real time. The project does not provide for a permanent exhibition in the museum building that is still under construction. Aside from the two open spaces, where there will be exhibits related to the royal palace and statues, all the remaining area will be provided for continuously changing exhibitions. We also aim to create a research center of the Hellenistic world.”
Kottaridou also commented on the excavation at the ancient Amphipolis site, criticizing the excavation team for “taking the hypothesis as a given fact” that the site is the burial location of Alexander the Great. “If we know anything it is that he was not buried there. When I wrote this, many people told me that it bothered them and they would want his grave to be there. I do not want to find the buried Alexander, I am not interested in finding buried bones and I do not think I will find them. I prefer to look for his living memory,” she said.
Concluding her presentation, Kottaridou discussed Alexander the Great’s accomplishments. “Alexander imagined a world without borders but respecting the specific traits of the people. The Greek language and culture were the link but the identity was a matter of choice, not compulsory.”