The Civic Museum of Natural History “G. Doria ” will host, from 21 December 2019 to 30 August 2020, for the first time ever, the exhibition“ Mythos ”, an extraordinary exhibition of models of the zoomorphic creatures that have most impressed the collective imagination.
It will be previewed to the press on Friday 20 December 2019 at 11.30 am, in the presence of Barbara Grosso, Councilor for Cultural Policies, Education Policies and Youth Policies of the Municipality of Genoa.
Since its origins, man has had to deal with the nature that surrounded him and with events that he often did not understand, sharing his world with other living beings, animals, which were a source of food and survival but, often, formidable adversaries. and mortals.
The myth arises from man's need to know the origins of his world and the creatures that populate it, to explain reality, to reveal the mysteries of nature and to make what frightens rational and understandable, while reserving an important role for the supernatural. , to which all that remains is to adapt and submit.
Myths are narratives , initially oral, handed down from generation to generation, from one social group to another, they are tales invested with sacredness that do not provide any demonstration and have perpetuated themselves in the tradition of peoples representing a fundamental part of every culture and religion.
In the myth coexist two parallel realities that intertwine relentlessly, from which simple mortals, gods and heroes emerge and, alongside them, animals and fantastic beings, often hybrids between different creatures, venerated in some cultures, in others feared because they bring death. and destruction.
These beings, huge snakes, monstrous dogs, fire-breathing dragons and countless others, represent chaos and therefore must be fought and defeated to restore cosmic order and celestial harmony. The myth tells how the positive forces managed to annihilate the creatures of darkness but also how the gods, holders of the vices and virtues of men, often used their enormous power to punish mortals, sending them horrible monsters or transforming them into beings subordinates, worthy of contempt and abomination.
With the advent of Christianity, animals have become the companions of man, subordinate to him. On the basis of the principle of duality between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, they have been assigned to one of the two ranks, even if they are always and in any case considered beings willed by God, even if for reasons incomprehensible to humanity.
The Mythos exhibition has set itself the goal of presenting to the general public the zoomorphic creatures that have most impressed the collective imagination over time. Beings in which, even with the addition of a good dose of imagination, we can identify unsuspected similarities or connections with real animals.
So here are 25 models made specifically for a dip in myth and legend! A journey into an extraordinary world populated by harpies and centaurs, dragons and griffins, vampires and werewolves, mermaids and unicorns… and many other fantastic creatures!
The exhibition develops, with a scenographic itinerary, in the hall on the ground floor and in the adjacent rooms; some models are inserted in the dioramas of the African savannah and Italian ungulates. Each creature is accompanied by a panel with a caption, in Italian and English, which tells its story.