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The exhibit

Palace of Knossos. 1600 - 1500 BC

This ivory figurine, a masterpiece of Minoan miniature art, represents a male figure executing an acrobatic leap in the air. It is part of the only three-dimensional depiction of bull-leaping from the Palace of Knossos known to date. It was found together with at least two other ivory figurines and a faience bull’s head. The composition obviously depicts the moment when the athlete leaps over the bull, a scene familiar from Minoan frescoes and seals. The three-dimensional snapshot of the athlete’s movement is captured in a truly masterful way, highlighting details such as the leg muscles and the fingernails. The bull-leaper figurine does not preserve any traces of a support, so the excavator suggested that it may have been suspended over the back of the bull using wires. The examination of the group under the microscope showed that the figures preserve traces of red paint, meaning that some features were painted on. They also had long hair made of copper gilt wires attached to the head, while thin pieces of gold foil found together with the statuettes may have been part of their clothing. Similar skilfully made figurines have also been found at Archanes and Palaikastro.
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1 January: closed

6 January: 08:30 – 15:00

Shrove Monday: 08:30 – 15:00

25 March: closed

Good Friday: 12:00 – 17:00

Holy Saturday: 08:00 – 15:00

1 May: closed

Easter Sunday: closed

Easter Monday: 08:00 – 20:00

Holy Spirit Day: 08:00 – 20:00

15 August: 08:00 – 20:00

28 October: 08:00 – 20:00

25 December: closed

26 December: closed