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The Collection of Plaster Casts

Since Summer 2017, the House of Archaeology has exhibited a collection of plaster casts from the Institute for Archaeological Studies at the RUB. The main focus of the entire collection is Greek Sculptures, however, it also offers several objects from the Roman and Late Antique periods. The Collection is further supplemented with some Cypriot and Etruscan sculptures. In general, the casts are made from plaster representing exact copies of ancient sculptures, originally from stone or bronze, and nowadays distributed within different collections all around the world.

Although the most prominent works, such as the statue of Laokoon and the Blinding of Polyphemus from Sperlonga were left in the premises of the Campus, the House of Archaeology has much to offer. The collection includes, for instance, the God from the Sea and the Funerary monument of Hegeso. In general, the plaster casts represent the Greeks’ world and enable us to view diverse aspects of their life. The sculptures allow us to observe role models and body perceptions; reconstruct ideas of the Gods, rulers and intellectuals; study robes, hairstyles and accessories. Moreover, the collection enables us to observe and study the development of the Greek sculpture. Since the casts are naturally three-dimensional, they allow one to experience the aspects crucial when studying sculpture; proportions, size and materiality. Overall, the plaster casts offer an appealing way to understand ancient times.

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Fig. 1: The Hall of Plaster Casts in the House of Archaeology

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Fig. 2: Plaster casts of ancient reliefs in the entrance to the Hall of Plaster Casts in the House of Archaeology

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Fig. 3: Showcase with Early Greek Sculptures in the corridor of the Hall of Plaster Casts