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Centennial Park was opened for the 1897 Nashville centennial celebration. Many pavilions and exhibits were constructed for the celebration, including a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was originally built of plaster, wood, and brick, and was never intended to remain after the celebration ended. The citizens of Nashville fought to save it and in the 1920s it was rebuilt in concrete as a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon with one large exception. The colossal statue of Athena from ancient times was not in this replica. In 1982, the city commissioned Alan LeQuire to build a full-scale replica of Athena Parthenos.
The Athena Parthenos in the ancient Parthenon was considered the greatest achievement of Pheidias, the most acclaimed sculptor of ancient Greece. He constructed the Athena Parthenos on a wooden framework with carved ivory for skin and a gold wardrobe. The statue was unveiled and dedicated in 438 or 437 B.C.
Nashville's Athena statue was constructed from 1982 to 1990. It stood in Nashville’s Parthenon as a plain, white statue for 12 years. In 2002 the Parthenon gilded Athena with Alan LeQuire and master gilder Lou Reed in charge of the project. The gilding makes Athena appear that much closer to the ancient Athena Parthenos. In addition to gilding, the project included painted details on her face, wardrobe and shield.
Nashville's Athena stands 12.75 meters (41'10") tall, and weighs approximately 10900 Kg (12 tons.) This makes her the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western World.
Compiled from information at: http://www.nashville.gov/Parthenon/Athena/index.asp, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athena_Parthenos
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.