Over the course of 23 years, BP has backed numerous special exhibitions – including the highly successful Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia, which attracted over 132,000 visitors. This exhibition explored the rich and ancient culture of the Scythian people and their influence around the world – a culture that was buried in the Siberian permafrost for thousands of years.
Other major BP exhibitions have included Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds, which looked at the remarkable tale of two lost cities submerged under the sea for a thousand years; Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation, which delved into the history of one of the world's oldest continuing cultures; Ming: 50 years that changed China, which explored the golden age of the Ming dynasty; and Vikings: life and legend, which considered the extraordinary people who created an international network across four continents.
In addition, BP has helped with special public events around Chinese New Year and the Mexican Days of the Dead festival during which 80,000 people participated. Together, these exhibitions and events have drawn over 4.2 million visitors to discover important stories.
From the Trojan horse to Troilus and Cressida, this exhibition will tell the stories of Troy that have fascinated and inspired people for more than 3,000 years. Scholars and explorers were in a race against time to rediscover the site of ancient Troy, and the revelations made by archaeologist Henrich Schliemann at Anatolia, Turkey in the 1870s, changed the face of this epic tale forever.
The BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality runs from 21 November 2019 to 8 March 2020.
This will be the first major Troy exhibition in the UK and the first to feature the archaeological discoveries made at the site of Troy since they were on display in London in the 1870s. The revelation that Troy may have been a real place and that the legend may have a been a reality has fascinated archaeologists for centuries. Schliemann’s excavations between 1870 and 1890 unearthed discoveries at the suspected site of ancient Troy that would see him become famous the world over.
In the exhibition, more than 300 outstanding objects reveal the impact of the stories of Troy as they have been told and retold across millennia. Many sayings often used today are taken from the Trojan cycle of myths, such as the ‘weakness of an Achilles heel’ and the ‘Trojan horse of deception’. Throughout the Trojan cycle of myths, the Greek hero Achilles experiences love, loss, anger and betrayal at the hands of the Trojan war. His eventual death is caused by an arrow shot by Paris to his heel, the only part of him not protected by the divine protection embalmed on him by his mother. In an exciting collaboration with Chatsworth House, the gilded arrow in the heel of Filippo Albachini’s (1777-1858) marble sculpture, Wounded Achilles, has been restored especially for this exhibition.