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Alexander the Great's personal sculptor to get own museum

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The work of Lysippus, one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece and the personal portraitist of Alexander the Great will get its own museum near the artist's native town of Sikyon in southern Greece, the archaeologist supervising the project said on Tuesday.

Active in the fourth century BC, Lysippus is believed to have created 1,500 bronze sculptures, including portraits of Alexander the Great and a statue of legendary Greek hero Hercules, immortalised in a later Roman marble copy known as the 'Farnese Hercules'.

None of Lysippus' original works have been preserved, but archaeologists will craft a collection from moulds of known copies donated by other museums, the local culture ministry department's antiquities supervisor Alexandros Mantis told AFP.

"We will have around 25 moulds donated from museums in Dresden, Munich, Torino and other parts of Greece," Mantis said. "Among them are statue bases which still carry the artist's own signature."

Lysippus is believed to have taught Chares of Lindos, the sculptor who created the Colossus of Rhodes, the gigantic bronze statue numbered among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

Copies of Lysippus' work are also displayed at the British Museum and the Louvre.

According to legend the master sculptor placed a gold coin in a money-box for each of his creations, a step which later enabled his children to calculate their number.

Located in the coastal resort of Kiato, some 10 kilometres (six miles) from the city of Corinth in the Peloponnese region, the Lysippus museum is expected to open next year.



AFP 080947 GMT 08 06

COPYRIGHT 2006 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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