Two exhibitions of ancient technology in Athens and Beijing
in collaboration with the China Museum of Science and Technology of Beijing
to mark the Year of Greek-Chinese Friendship
The Museum Herakleidon will present, in both its buildings (16 Herakleidon and 37 Ap. Pavlou, Thissio), the exhibition “Ancient Chinese Science and Technology” of the CMST from September 2017 through January 2018. Meanwhile, the CMST in Beijing will host, from October 2017 through March 2018, the exhibition “EUREKA. Science, Art and Technology of the Ancient Greeks”, organized by the Museum Herakleidon in collaboration with the Association of Ancient Greek Technology Studies (AAGTS) and with Mr. Theodosis P. Tasios, professor emeritus of the National Technical University of Athens, President of AAGTS, as scientific consultant.
The exhibition “Ancient Chinese Science and Technology” will introduce to the Greek public for the first time some of the remarkable technological achievements of the Chinese civilization, which is one of the most ancient. These achievements cover a broad scientific spectrum, from astronomy and navigation to weaving techniques, papermaking, printing, seismography, et al., and will be presented through the models of a variety of inventions. Moreover, visitors will have the unique opportunity to watch demonstrations of ancient Chinese weaving techniques, traditional methods of papermaking and printing, and others.
The exhibition “EUREKA" Science, Art and Technology of the Ancient Greeks” will present for the first time at the CMST in Beijing the most representative of the ancient Greek technological accomplishments in areas such as shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, communications, building, the arts, and others, through original models and visual materials. Significant among the exhibits will be the operational reproduction of the Antikythera Mechanism, at triple the size of the original, made of plexiglass, bronze and aluminum, which will be constructed specifically for the Museum Herakleidon, in collaboration with the research team of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the scientific counsel of professors Dr. Kyriakos Efstathios and Dr. John Seiradakis. Furthermore, the exhibition will include two reproductions of historical ancient Greek shipwrecks, courtesy of the Museum of Navigation and Marine Arts of the Aegean and the Municipality of Samos.
The exchange of the two exhibitions aims to strengthen the ties between the two nations through the mutual discovery and showcasing of the important cultural heritage of each. It is under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religion/Department of Research and Innovation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Sports. and the Greek-Chinese Chamber.
The China Science and Technology Museum (CMST) in Beijing, the most comprehensive museum of science and technology in China, opened in 1988. It is a large-scale science popularization facility for the implementation of the national strategy of invigorating the country through science and education, and the enhancement of the scientific literacy of the general public through interactive exhibitions, science popularization activities and educational programs. The footprint of the museum is 48,000 sq.m., with a total area of 102,000 sq.m., covering a significant area of the park “Olympic Green”, which was created for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, to highlight its motto “Green Olympics, Scientific Olympics and Olympics of Humanity”. It comprises five main thematic exhibitions (Science Paradise, The Glory of China, Science, Technology and Life, Explorations and Discoveries, Challenges and the Future). There is also a temporary exhibition area, as well as four special-effect theatres, lecture halls, a number of laboratories and classrooms, and other facilities. Composed of numerous building block-like concrete blocks that articulate with each other, the structure of the museum is made to look like a Lu Ban lock or “magic cube”, to symbolize science as an endless process of “unlocking” and “discovering” secrets.
The Museum Herakleidon has been bringing art, education, and culture to the general public since 2004. The inspiration comes from the founders Paul and Anna-Belinda Firos. During the first decade of its operation, the museum focused on the fine arts and organized exhibitions of the works of several important artists (M.C. Escher, Victor Vasarely, Carol Wax, Constantine Xenakis, Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Sol LeWitt, et al.). Today the museum has evolved into an interactive center for popularized science. Based on its philosophy of Science, Art, and Mathematics, it provides innovative educational programs for students, teachers and adults, as well as exhibitions of art and popularized science at its two buildings in Thissio (16 Herakleidon Str. and 37 Ap. Pavlou Str.).
The Association of Ancient Greek Technology Studies is a scientific association that was founded in 1993, with the goal of promoting scientific research and disseminating historical knowledge of the technological achievements of the Ancient Greeks up to and including Byzantium. It organizes, open to the public, scientific conferences, talks, book and film presentations, as well as visits to ancient sites with a technological interest and special seminars for various interested groups (teachers, students).