The Golden Fleece. The Quest of the Argonauts

Vassil Bojkov Collection

16/03/2018 - 1/07/2018

The National Gallery and the Thrace Foundation present 62 selected cultural valuables from the Vassil Bojkov Collection in The Golden Fleece. The Quest of the Argonauts exhibition.
Via the magnificent ancient masterpieces the public will follow the Argonauts on their route in a fabulous adventure. They will take the visitors to the ancient sacred places – Delphi and Samothrace – to the Thracian kingdoms, to the lands of the legendary Amazons, to the domain of the sun – Colchis – and to the sacred Island of Crete.
The single modules show different aspects of the faith and the ritual tradition of the ancient peoples, as well as some of the secrets of the ancient gold extraction.
The Golden Fleece remained in the collective historical memory as a symbol of the new life, fertility, the royal power, and of the alliance with the gods. The sacrifice of the sacred golden ram that had transferred Helle and Phrixus to Colchis, is represented in the center of the expositional space.
Part of the Vassil Bojkov Collection will be exposed for the seventh time.
The exposition includes gold and silver eastern vessels, red-figure vases with representations of the sanctuary in Delphi, ritual silver-gilt vessels, funeral offerings, ritual sets, etc. Тwo vessels depicting Orpheus the Thracian – one of the Argonauts – will be shown in the exhibit; a silver-gilt kantharos and a rhyton – the only two that are discovered so far.
17 artefacts will be introduced for the first time to the open public in the Golden Fleece exhibition. Two of red-figure vases, a silver rhyton with a sculptured figure of the reclining elder Silenus on a panther’s wineskin – a splendid example of a sophisticated creation of the luxury. On two silver cups appears the most famous hero of Attica in the Antiquity – Theseus. The guests of the event will be able to see a gold kantharos from 12-10 c. BC, a silver amphora-rhyton with zoomorphic handles – a West-Anatolian taller work from the late 6th c. BC, and a silver kantharos with the baby Heracles on the medallion.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Lyubava Konova – specialist on Ancient and Thracian history and archaeology, and Elka Penkova. They have prepared and realized more than 30 temporary exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad, as well as sections of the permanent expositions in the National Historical Museum in Sofia.
The Vassil Bojkov Collection comprises of more than 3 000 archaeological artefacts gathered since 2005. It includes various groups of objects, made of different materials, and dating from the Neolithic to the Late Antiquity.