Skip to comments.Colossus of Rhodes to be rebuilt as giant light sculpture
Posted on 11/18/2008 5:59:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv
It may not straddle the port as its predecessor once did, but in terms of sheer luminosity and eye-catching height the new Colossus of Rhodes will not disappoint. Nor will it fall short of the symbolism that once imbued the ancient monument.
Twenty-three centuries after craftsmen carved the legendary statue that has inspired legions of painters, poets, playwrights and politicians, a new world wonder, built in the spirit of the original Colossus, is about to be born on the Aegean island.
After decades of dashed hopes, the people of Rhodes will fulfil a long-held dream to revive one of the world's seven ancient wonders - thanks to the promise of international funding and the East German artist Gert Hof...
Like the original, erected in homage to the sun god Helios by the master sculptor Chares of Lindos, the new Colossus will adorn an outer pier in the harbour area of Rhodes, and be visible to passing ships.
And like its ancient namesake, the modern-day wonder will be dedicated to celebrating peace and built, at least in part, out of melted-down weapons from around the world.
But unlike the ancient Colossus, which stood 34 metres high before an earthquake toppled it in 226BC, the groundbreaking work of art is slated to be much taller and bigger. And unlike previous reconstruction efforts, officials say the Cologne-based design team is determined to avoid recreating a replica...
Instead, in the spirit of the 21st century the new Colossus has been conceived as a highly innovative light sculpture, a work of art that will allow visitors to physically inspect it by day as well as enjoy - through light shows - a variety of stories it will "tell" by night.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Please note that the original statue did not straddle the entrance to the harbor, as is often portrayed (and I'd love to see the modern one do exactly that, but anyway), and as this article claims.
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Sounds like a vital project, given the state of the world right now...../sarc
Could they really call something barely 100 feet tall a “colossus” today? Maybe they’re focusing on relative size...
Because it's not the WTC.
Preserved in Greek anthologies of poetry is what is believed to be the genuine dedication text for the Colossus.
To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus, when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom and independence. For to the descendants of Herakles belongs dominion over sea and land.
...The statue stood for 54 years until Rhodes was hit by the 226 BC earthquake, when significant damage was also done to large portions of the city, including the harbour and commercial buildings, which were destroyed. The statue snapped at the knees and fell over onto the land. Ptolemy III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the statue, but the oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians afraid that they had offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it.
The remains lay on the ground as described by Strabo (xiv.2.5) for over 800 years, and even broken, they were so impressive that many travelled to see them. Pliny the Elder remarked that few people could wrap their arms around the fallen thumb and that each of its fingers was larger than most statues.
In 653, an Arab force under Muslim caliph Muawiyah I captured Rhodes, and according to The Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, the statue was cast down and sold to a Jewish merchant of Edessa who loaded the bronze on 900 camels. The Arab destruction and the purported sale to a Jew possibly originated as a powerful metaphor for Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the destruction of a great statue.
The same story is recorded by Bar Hebraeus, writing in Syriac in the 13th century in Edessa: (after the Arab pillage of Rhodes) “And a great number of men hauled on strong ropes which were tied round the brass Colossus which was in the city and pulled it down. And they weighed from it three thousand loads of Corinthian brass, and they sold it to a certain Jew from Emesa” (the Syrian city of Homs). Theophanes is the sole source of this account and all other sources can be traced to him.