Related to City Art
Installed 2000
Close view from below of the head and upper torso of the statue. Athena stands with one arm extended, and wears a sash adorned with the head of Medusa and a helmet.
A bronze statue of Athena. She stands with one arm extended, and wears a loose robe, a sash adorned with the head of Medusa, and a helmet.
The back of a bronze statue of Athena. Across a laneway behind her there is a sandstone building labelled "Barrack House".

A statue of Athena, the Greek goddess of courage, wisdom, strategy and war, gifted to Sydney by Athens during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Artist: Unknown

Artwork description

In Sesquicentenary Square on Barrack Street stands a large bronze sculpture of the Greek goddess Athena.

Though best known as the goddess of courage, wisdom, strategy and war, Athena also represents law and justice, civilisation, arts and crafts, and skill and inspiration.

The figure stands in a solemn and graceful pose, with her right hand outstretched and her open palm upwards. She is dressed in a loose and flowing peplos (robe) that covers her whole body, leaving only her arms and feet exposed. There is an aegis (goat-skin cloak) across her chest with the face of the Medusa in the centre. She wears a tall Corinthian helmet on her head, decorated with the figures of owls and gryphons.

The statue is modelled on the 4th century bronze statue of the goddess Athena found in Piraeus in 1959, (known as the Piraeus Athena) which is now on display at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum in Greece.

Athena was given to Sydney by the Mayor of Athens as a symbolic gift during the Sydney Olympic Games.


A plaque fixed to the statue’s black marble plinth states:

Offered by the mayor of Athens Dimitris l. Avramopoylos to the Lord Mayor Frank Sartor and the City of Sydney September, 2000.

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