Palermo’s archaeological museum, Il Museo Archeologico Regionale “Antonio Salinas,” houses one of the world’s most robust collections of ancient Punic and Greek art and artifacts. Priceless pieces from sites across Sicily are represented; however, for the past 5-6 years, the museum has been closed for renovation and its collection has remained behind the locked doors.
This past week, a significant section of the museum re-opened. (Rejoice!) When I was in Palermo this past winter, I was able to visit a couple of rooms that they opened as a tease and where I was able to see this magnificent piece called “Zeus.” Discovered in 1825 at the site at Solunto in Bagheria/Santa Flavia, it dates back to the middle of the 2nd century.
The statue, which is made from limestone and white marble, has been significantly restored. Although it is called Zeus, technically, they only know it is of a male deity, but all characteristics point to the Greek god.
Now, if this is just one example finally visible to the public, I can’t wait to see the rest of the magnificent collection!