George Petrides’ ”Hellenic Heads” in Venice

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The Embassy of Greece in Rome and The Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies of Venice, in cooperation with the Honorary Consulate of Greece in Venice and the Greek Orthodox Community of Venice, and with the support of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy present ”Hellenic Heads: George Petrides, A Personal Exploration of Greek History and Culture Over 2,500 Years”.

The exhibition take place in the courtyard of the Church of St. George of the Greeks (San Giorgio dei Greci) adjoining the Hellenic Institute, a short walk from the Arsenale and the Piazza San Marco, from 15 April to 28 April and from 8 May to 24 November 2024 from 9:00 to 17:00 every day.

The Hellenic Heads are six oversized busts standing over two meters tall on their bases, each inspired by a period of Greek history ranging from Classical Greece, the Byzantine Empire, the Greek War of Independence, the Burning of Smyrna, the Nazi Occupation and the Holocaust, to present day. For each period, Petrides studied masterpieces by sculptors such as Michelangelo and Rodin, as well as archeological artifacts, academic sources and historical photographs. Then, he asked a family member to pose for each piece — some live and some from photographs and memory.

©Pepi Nikolopoulou

Timelessness is further emphasized by the perennial themes addressed by each work, such as the mirroring of female military leaders in the Greek War of Independence with the role of female leadership today; a head honoring Greek Jews murdered by Nazis, shockingly relevant as antisemitism is on the rise; the head referring to the plight of the refugee fleeing the burning Smyrna 100 years ago and those fleeing violence today.

©Pepi Nikolopoulou

Hellenic Heads is a traveling exhibition, with Venice being its fifth stop. There will follow three more venues, in Europe and Asia, for a total of eight around the world. It debuted at the Embassy of Greece to the USA in Washington, D.C. for Europe Day 2022, then traveled to the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, Illinois. In parallel, an extensive catalog has been produced which combines presentations of the historical periods with Petrides’ sculptures.

©Pepi Nikolopoulou


April 15 – April 28, 2024
May 8 – November 24, 2024
Monday-Sunday 9:00 to 17:00

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