Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Menagerie of Wonders Closes in Venice - The Ancient Roman Lod Mosaic: Next Stop, Miami

The Lod Mosaic
(Venice, Italy) Almost 2000 years ago, the finest in ancient Rome home decoration included mosaic floors. Here in Venice, we were fortunate enough to get a gander at the marvelous Ancient Roman Lod Mosaic during A Menagerie of Wonders at the Giorgio Cini Foundation on the Island of San Giorgio, which closed today.

The Lod Mosaic - Photo: Cat Bauer
When the city of Lod in Israel was doing road work back in 1996, they stumbled upon a large, colorful mosaic floor decorated with lions and fish, elephants and birds, ancient ships and plants. The ancient floor, dating back to the late 3rd/early 4th centuries, was in beautiful condition, and it was decided to give it a permanent home. Thanks to the Leon Levy Foundation and Shelby White, president of the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the creation of the Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center is now underway, due to open in 2017.

The Lod Mosaic - Photo: Cat Bauer
The current Israeli town of Lod is on the site of the ancient city of Lydda, St. George's hometown, and was an important trade route. A center of culture and craft production, Lydda was destroyed by the Romans in AD 66 during the First Jewish-Roman War, and rebuilt as Diospolis, the City of Zeus.

They are still trying to figure out why exotic animals, probably unknown to the region, are on the mosaic. One theory is they were imported from Africa on merchant ships, possibly for combat in the amphitheaters.

The Lod Mosaic - Photo: Cat Bauer
While the Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center is being constructed, the superstar floor set off on an international tour and was displayed in some major venues: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, the Altes Museum in Berlin, Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, UK and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as here in Venice at the Cini Foundation.

Next the fabulous floor is traveling to The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Florida from February 11 to March 15, 2016, after which it will make its way back to its new home in Lod.

For more information, go to The Lod Mosaic.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. Almost 2000 years ago, the finest in ancient Rome home decoration included mosaic floors. Here in Venice, we were fortunate enough to get a gander at the marvelous Ancient Roman Lod Mosaic during A Menagerie of Wonders at the Giorgio Cini Foundation on the Island of San Giorgio, which closed today.

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