An exhibition entitled “The Saga of the Thracian Kings – Archaeological Discoveries in Bulgaria” will be held at The Louvre in Paris from April 16 to July 20 2015.
The opening of the exhibition to the public will be preceded by two official opening ceremonies, on April 14 and 15.
Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Deputy Prime Minister Roumyana Buchvarova, Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov and Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova will attend the official opening ceremonies. The April 14 ceremony will be be attended by French culture minister Fleur Pellerin, with guests including UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, European Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva and Bulgarian-born singer Sylvie Vartan.
According to the Louvre, the exhibition explores ancient Thrace by looking at various components of the Odrysian kingdom.
On show for the first time will be several complete sets of major tomb furnishings, allowing comparison of previously unseen items with similar material found in Greek city-states along the coast. The highlight of the exhibition will be the unprecedented display of items from the royal tomb of Seuthes III alongside the magnificent bronze head of that king.
Ancient Thrace is still mainly associated with the emblematic figure of Orpheus and various Thracian kings such as Rhesus and Tereus, who punctuated the Greek mythological world. Yet this region, located between the Aegean and Black Seas, actually witnessed the rise of a powerful kingdom headed by a people called the Odrysae.
This kingdom became a key player in the regional conflicts that inflamed southeastern Europe from the fifth century BCE onward.
Stimulated by its numerous exchanges with the Greeks, the Macedonians, the Persians, and the Scythians, the Odrysian kingdom forged its own identity around a turbulent warrior aristocracy. In recent years, the vitality of Bulgarian archaeological research has spurred a rediscovery of Thracian civilisation, epitomised by exceptional tombs that convey the economic, social, cultural, and artisanal wealth of the Odrysian kingdom, according to the Louvre’s website.
Exhibits from 17 Bulgarian museums are among items on display at the exhibition. The exhibition also includes items from the Louvre, the British Museum and the Prado Museum.
The exhibition is to be held in the halls of the Louvre’s Richelieu Wing. Admission is via a museum ticket.