‘At the Feet of Athena’ — The Parthenon Nashville (TN) July 2011

‘At the Feet of Athena’ — The Parthenon Nashville (TN) July 2011
4th of july crafts
Image by Ron Cogswell
In Greek mythology, Athena, is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice, and skill.

She is the virgin patron of Athens, where the Athenians built the Parthenon on the Acropolis in her honor.

A modern replica of the goddess Athena by Alan LeQuire stands in the reproduction of the Parthenon in Centennial Park in Nashville (TN).

LeQuire, a Nashville native, was awarded the commission to produce the Parthenon’s cult statue. His work was modeled on descriptions given of the original. The modern version took eight years to complete, and was unveiled to the public in May 1990.

This modern version of Athena is significant because of its scale and its attention to recreating the original work. The statue adds an additional dimension of realism to the replicated Parthenon, whose interior east room (the naos) was merely a large empty hall prior to the statue’s unveiling. The reproduced Athena gives visitors the impression that they truly are inside an ancient place of worship.

The Nashville Athena is made of a composite of gypsum cement and ground fiberglass. The head of Athena was assembled over an aluminum armature, and the lower part was made in steel. The four ten-inch H beams rest on a concrete structure that extends through the Parthenon floor and basement down to bedrock, to support the great weight of the statue. LeQuire made each of the 180 cast gypsum panels used to create the statue light enough to be lifted by one person and attached to the steel armature.

Nashville’s Athena stands 41 ft. 10 in. tall, reportedly making her the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western World.

The statue of Nike in Athena’s right hand stands 6 ft 4 in tall.

There are eleven snakes represented on Athena’s breastplate, bracelets, and belt.

Image by Ron Cogswell on July 14, 2011, using a hand-held Nikon D80 and minor Photoshop effects.

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