Key events from the 1821 Greek War of Independence were recreated with plastic Playmobil figurines and accessories within dioramas, all shown in an exhibition inaugurated on Tuesday at the National Historical Museum in Athens.
Laskarina Bouboulina – the first female to be posthumously named admiral for her war services – as well as Greek Generals Theodoros Kolokotronis and Markos Botsaris, pre-eminent leaders of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, and Filiki Eteria, the secret organization founded in 1814 in Odessa, whose purpose was to overthrow the Ottoman rule of Greece and establish an independent Greek state, are only some of the personalities and scenes depicted in more than 20 fascinating Playmobil dioramas and 3D scenery exhibited there.
The exhibition is the result of the museum’s collaboration with Playmobil collectors, who own commemorative pieces not commercially available, and is supported by Playmobil Hellas.
Head of the National Historical Museum Efthymia Papaspyrou said that “(historic) events do not change but the time that passes changes the way we view and project them. They are represented in art with a fresh and more creative outlook, utilizing modern methods that make them more accessible and attractive.”
It is a “complex and difficult dream” said Irene Efremidis, marketing director of Playmobil Hellas, and she emphasized that “the purpose for which Playmobil was created will have been achieved, if this exhibition helps even slightly some of the visitors to connect with their history, take a brief look at the past, and become a little more interested in what happened 200 years ago.”
The exhibition’s design and supervision were undertaken by the museum’s curators – art historian Natasa Kastritis, archaeologist Panayiota Panaritis and historian Regina Katsimardou.
“This is the first time in Greece an attempt was made to depict the 1821 Greek War of Independence with Playmobils and dioramas, and the first time an exhibition like this is shown in such a museum. We were impressed when we discovered the possibilities Playmobil offers in 3D installations,” said Kastritis.
Visitors can search for specific heroes, play entertaining board games, and even virtually launch a naval attack against a Turkish two-decker ship, all made possible by a special interactive activity booklet handed out at the museum’s entrance.
The exhibition will run until May 2020, is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 2 pm, and admission to the public is free.
The National Historical Museum in Athens is launching an entire program of exhibitions, events and publications in celebration of the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence.