Kalymnos, the small Dodecanese island known for its significant archaeological finds, will welcome another archaeological museum in 2008.
Officials who confirmed the opening added that it has not been decided whether the new museum’s displays will include the celebrated Lady of Kalymnos kore, which was dragged from the sea in 1994. The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) has postponed discussion on the fate of the statue, which is seen as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent years in Greece. Its size, good condition and rarity have earned it pride of place at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, which hopes to hang on to the artifact even though the Kalymnos museum wants it.
With or without the Lady of Kalymnos, the museum is expected to contain an array of impressive displays dating from the 5th century AD to the Christian period. Plans include an area to display a magnificent statue of Asclepius, god of health, which has been reassembled.
The museum will be housed in a new, two-story building of 386 square meters in Aghia Triada in the town of Pothia, near the Vouvali mansion, which has been used to exhibit a number of archaeological finds.
The museum project is funded by the Third Community Support Framework and KAS has already approved the museological study. Current plans outline that the first hall will be dedicated to prehistoric finds made mostly in Kalymnos’s numerous caves. The same hall will also contain luxurious vessels of the local and imported ceramic crafts of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, among other displays.
The second hall will contain finds from a Hellenistic settlement located in a gorge during a recent excavation at Damos that brought to light numerous finds that allude to the daily life of residents at the time. Should the Lady of Kalymnos be returned to her island, she too will go on display here.