The Lalaounis Jewelry Museum located a short walk up from the New Acropolis Museum is literally a gem. The blinding bling bling of its eclectic collections can turn even the least material girl into a lavish diva clawing for the littlest nugget of gold. That’s because the pieces on display are works of art.
The collections are arranged either chronologically or around themes of inspiration. There’s The Golden Dawn of Art that features pieces from the Paleolithic to Neolithic and include jewelry unearthed from mythical Ilion or Troy. Then there is a permanent collection dedicated to the history of ancient Greek jewelry and includes designs from the Minoan, Mycenean, Classical and Hellenistic, and, my favorite, the Byzantine, eras. This summer the rotating or visiting display bedazzled with the symbols and craftsmanship of Persepolis and Persia. Lushious pomegranates heavy with rubies as seeds dangled next to lapis lazuli amulets. This is part of a rotating exhibition that tantalizes the eyes and the imagination exposing the mesmerized viewers with fantasies of themselves regaled from Tudor Queen, to consort to Suleiman the Magnificent, to Mesopotamian princess even turquoise Cherokee squaw.
Then there are several science and nature inspired collections. Coiled gold and crystal structures reminiscent of the DNA strands, the building blocks of life. Or strange crystalline moon rocks that glitter with other worldly purple and pink. The museum houses a real jewelry making workshop that demonstrates the techniques that metamorph the clunky dark stone into the brilliant faceted objects d’ art you see behind the glass cases. Yes, there is hardly a woman who can resist the love of gold spun into exquisite sinuous curves around her own curves. Even if you are not a fan of jewelry, the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum deserves a peak. I guarantee it will leave you in ecstatic sighs of ooh and aahs fantasizing about how that medallion would look around your neck. Someday, someday. For now, you can dream for a mere 5 Euros.
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.
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