Made of stone

Nu sunt fan muzee, calatorii de cultura generala cu program de vizitat obiective turistice ‘de bifat’ sau adepta mentalitatii snoabe ca da bine sa spui “am vazut X sau Y muzeu/palat/expozitie/etcetera”. Dimpotriva, prefer sa ma pierd pe strazi, sa admir decoruri de vitrine, oameni, sa suprind atitudini, gesturi, sa descopar cartiere ascunse, accente moderne, case vechi, sa savurez o cafea buna simtind pulsul locului, vibratia, viata reala de zi cu zi, sa ascult conversatiile localnicilor, chiar daca sunt intr-o limba pe care nu o inteleg. Brief, prefer sa ma incarc din lifestyle-ul si autenticitatea locala.

In calatoria din nordul Greciei, pe drumul de la Drama spre Kavala, la 20 km inainte de a intra in oras, am poposit o vreme intre ruinele stravechiului oras Philippi, la Archaeological Museum of Philippi, ajungand astfel in anul 5.000 inaintea erei noastre. La inceput nu mi-am dat seama ce caut acolo, asa ca am ascultat ce spunea Ioannis, ghidul amabil si foarte bine documentat, in glasul caruia, pe langa insiruirea de cifre, ani, batalii si teritorii, capetenii de ostiri, razbatea clar pasiunea pentru antichitate.

Dar, la un moment dat, nu l-am mai auzit. Vazusem statuile. Din marmura sau piatra simpla, intregi sau trunchiate, cu posturi de o eleganta aparte, erau vii. Le simteam energia, caldura, istoria, dar mai ales finetea deosebita a trasaturilor si a vesmintelor. Fie ca era tunica romana sau roba, cu un drapaj perfect si inegalabil, sunt in mod sigur cele mai frumoase falduri si cute pe care le-am vazut vreodata. Sculptate in marmura, insa de o delicatete ce depaseste cele mai fine tesaturi; cu greutatea pietrei, dar mai fluide decat orice unduire de matase grea.

O declaratie vibranta de stil, cu amprenta miilor de ani ai autenticitatii, talentului si pasiunii creatorilor lor, mai puternica decat toate miile de pagini de VOGUE pe care le-am citit pana acum. Atunci am inteles ce inseamna “Style Statement”. Aveam in fata definitia sa, si eram inconjurata de declinarile sale, intr-o demonstratie tacuta si maiestuoasa de frumusete, intr-un joc ireal, timeless, de idei si design pur.

philippi museum (1) philippi museum (4) philippi museum (5) philippi museum (6) philippi museum (2) philippi museum (3) philippi museum (14) philippi museum (15) philippi museum (16)

Iar detaliile coafurilor si expresivitatea chipurilor din colectia Archaeological Museum of Philippi sunt inca o dovada a ingeniozitatii prin care artistii romani sau greci au sculptat in piatra emotii, bucurii, tristeti, dezamagiri, sperante si evenimente, insufletindu-le astfel pentru eternitate.

philippi museum (8) philippi museum (7) philippi museum (13) philippi museum (11) philippi museum (12) philippi museum (10) philippi museum (18) philippi museum (19) philippi museum (21) philippi museum (20) philippi museum (9)


I am not a museums fan or travels of general knowledge with sightseeing program ‘ticked’ yes or follower of snobbish mentality better to say “I saw the X or Y museum / palace / exhibition / etcetera“. Instead, I prefer to get lost in the streets, to admire the scenery showcases, people’s attitudes and gestures, to discover hidden neighborhoods, modern accents, old houses, enjoy a good coffee while feeling the place’s pulse, vibration, daily real life, listen to locals conversations, even if they are in a language I do not understand. Brief, I like to taste the authenticity of the local lifestyle.

During the journey in northern Greece, on the road from Drama to Kavala, 20 km before entering the town, we stopped for a while in the ancient city ruins of Philippi, at the Archaeological Museum of Philippi, reaching in the year 5000 BC. At first, I did not realize what I was doing there, so I listened to what Ioannis said, our nice and very well documented guide, while in his voice, besides string of digits, years, battles and territories, commanders of armies, broke through a clear passion for antiquity.

But at some point, I haven’t heard him anymore. I had seen the statues. Marble or simple stone, entire or truncated, with special elegance postures, they were alive. I felt their energy, warmth, history, and especially great finesse of features and garments. Whether it was Roman tunic or coat with a perfect drapery, these are certainly the most beautiful folds ever seen. Carved in marble, but with a delicacy that exceeds the finest fabrics; stone weight, but more fluid than any wave of heavy silk.

A vibrant style statement with the imprint of thousand years of authenticity, talent and passion of their creators, stronger than all the thousands of VOGUE pages I’ve read so far. Then I understood what “Style Statement” means. I was in front of its definition and being surrounded by its declinations in a silent and majestic demonstration of beauty, in a surreal, timeless game of ideas and pure design.

Hair style details and expressive faces of the collection from Archaeological Museum of Philippi are further proof of ingenuity that Roman or Greek artists carved in stone emotions, joys, sorrows, disappointments, hopes and events, enliven this way for eternity.


Photo credits: arhiva personala Ruxandra Chiurtu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *