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The countless aspects of Beauty at Chios Mastic Museum Featured

“The countless aspects of Beauty” is a periodic exhibition that took place at the National Archaeological Museum in celebration of its 150 years. A choice of unique antiquities that were presented in the context of this exhibition travelled to the thematic museums of Pireaus’s Group Cultural Foundation. In 2018, the exhibition was presented at Sparti, Ioannina and Tinos. Last Tuesday, it opened at Chios Mastic Museum, where it will remain until September 8, 2019.

This is an important collaboration of Pireaus’s Cultural Foundation with the National Archaeological Museum, that takes place for the first time. It offers the chance to people and visitors of Chios island to admire unique antiquities from the treasures of Greece’s most important museum, some of them presented to the public for the first time. The exhibition focuses on Beauty and our diachronic need for it, through myths, art and daily life.  

At the Chios Mastic Museum there is also a special reference to the role and uses of Chios mastiha in beauty rituals since ancient times. It also features a distinct unit dedicated to the beauty of the women of Chios, according to the travelers of 16th – 19th centuries.  

A creative workshop for children and parents will be organized on Saturday 29 June, at 18.00. Entitled “Inspired by Beauty”, the workshop is a parallel event of the exhibition. Participants will have the chance to visit the exhibition and after that, guided by specialist museum educators, they will be able to create their own clay works of art. Participation and materials are free, but it is necessary to book your place beforehand.

Chios Mastic Museum

Chios Mastic Museum is situated at the Mastichochoria (literally: mastic villages), a group of medieval villages in Southern Chios, the only site in the Mediterranean where the mastic tree, or Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia, is cultivated; called by its generic name of skínos in Greek, this is an endemic variety of pistacia plant from which mastíha (gum mastic) is produced.

The Chios Mastic Museum aims to showcase the production history of the mastic tree’s cultivation and the processing of its resin, which it integrates into the cultural landscape of Chios. Through the prism of UNESCO’s inclusion of traditional mastic cultivation on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014, emphasis is given to the diachronicity and sustainability of this product of Chios.

The permanent exhibition centres on Chios mastiha as a unique natural product. The introductory module provides information on the mastic tree and mastiha, its resin, which in 2015 was recognised as a natural medicine. The first module presents the traditional know-how of mastic cultivation. The second module focuses on how managing the cultivation and its produce shaped the agricultural landscape and the settlements of southern Chios and the Mastichochoria historically. The third module is dedicated to mastiha resin’s cooperative exploitation and processing in modern times, which marks an important chapter in the productive history of Chios. Particular mention is made to the uses underpinning why mastiha has a worldwide presence today. The museum experience is completed in the outdoor exhibition, where the public comes into contact with the plant itself and the natural habitat it prospers in.

Chios Mastic Museum attracts the largest number of visitors among the thematic Pireaus Group museums. It offers an holistic experience for the visitor who would like to discover the secrets of mastiha culture and let themselves be carried away by the elegant charm of the Mastiha villages of Chios.

Chios Mastic Museum contact information

Address: Pyrgi, Rachi site (Tepeki), 821 02 Chios, Greece

Telephone: (+30) 22710 72212

Fax: (+30) 22710 72215

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