4.19.2013

Characters in My Life - Vol.2: MARSYAS

Pin It        I used to work in Istanbul Archaeological Museums and I had to leave my job before moving to Norway for a year but that museum still has a big part in my life because it has always been one of the places that I feel peaceful, magical, or just "strongly feel".
      In my very first visit there when I was a student, I wished working in such a place and fortunately it came true. Again in that first visit I met Marsyas in the ground floor, Gallery 16.
      I believe that some statues are somewhat special characters confined within marble blocks so I thought Marsyas was one of them with a soul still in him. I started to visit and talk to him from time to time and that's how he became an important character in my life.


His statue in Istanbul Archaeological Museums. Is is dated to the Hellenistic period and was found in Tarsus, a historical city in the southern part of Turkey.
       According to the story, Marsyas claims that he plays his flute better than Apollo plays his lyre. Neither of them wins in a musical contest, but Apollo asks Marsyas to turn his instrument upside down and to add his own voice. However, Marsyas cannot achieve this and Apollo wins the contest. After being challenged by a mortal, Apollo gets angry, skins Marsyas alive and hangs his skin to a pine tree, so here he is depicted as hung from a tree and his muscles stretched because of this torture. (Apollo feels sorry later and breaks his lyre and turns Marsyas into a river.) 

View of the museum. I took this picture 3 years ago, when I was working there.

(Yes:) Me in the museum garden

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