| Description | | Exhibits |

“All that glitters: the Belgian contribution to Greek numismatics”

(29 September 2010 – 15 January 2011)

On January 15 2010, the temporary exhibition of the Athens Numismatic Museum entitled “All that glitters: the Belgian contribution to Greek numismatics” ended successfully. This endeavor was the result of the cooperation between institutions in Greece and Belgium and was brought into effect on the occasion of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council, in the second half of 2010. Co-organizers of this exhibition were the Belgian embassy, the Royal Library of Belgium, the Belgian School at Athens and the Athens Numismatic Museum.

Ancient Greek coins from the collection of the Royal Library of Belgium were displayed in Greece for the first time. The tetradrachm of Aetna, a coin issued by the Sicilian city during its short history, constitutes a work of an exceptional style by an anonymous engraver. It bears on the obverse, an image of a Selinus and on the reverse, the god Zeus holding a winged thunderbolt. Both depictions on the coin reflect through symbols the myths of Sicily indicating the nature of the region. It was bequeathed to the Belgian state by the mother of the collector Lucien de Hirsch and is one-of-its-kind.

The Belgian archaeological activity was shown through the presentation of the excavations in Thorikos conducted by the Belgian School at Athens. The coin hoard, discovered there in 1969 and kept at the Athens Numismatic Museum, was exhibited. Its archaeological value is double-folded. The place of its origin, Thorikos, functioned as the link between the neighbouring silver mines of Laureion and the mints of ancient Athens. It was there that all the preliminary work to ensure the amounts of metal needed for the production of the Athenian coinage took place. The content of the hoard, consisting primarily of Athenian silver tetradrachms, proved a valuable tool for numismatists in their study of the style development of these coins.

The Thorikos hoard was presented opposite another one kept at the Royal Library of Belgium. It is the Tell el- Maskhuta hoard from Egypt which consists of copies of Athenian tetradrachms. The provenance of the Tell el- Maskhuta hoard as well as the amount of its specimens testifies to the wide distribution of the Athenian coins in the eastern Mediterranean.