Sculptures are seen during a preview of the exhibition "Kallos, The Ultimate Beauty" at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 27, 2021. A new exhibition by the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens invites visitors to reflect on their personal notion of ultimate beauty by taking them on a time-travel in ancient Greece. Through 300 antiquities gathered from 52 museums, Ephorates of Antiquities and collections in Greece, Italy and the Vatican, the exhibition entitled "Kallos, The Ultimate Beauty," presents what this concept meant in everyday life and the philosophical discourse in ancient Greece, the organizers told a press conference on Monday. (Photo by Marios Lolos/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima

Museum of Cycladic Art

Top choice in Athens

The 1st floor of this exceptional private museum is dedicated to the iconic minimalist marble Cycladic figurines, dating from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. They inspired many 20th-century artists, such as Picasso and Modigliani, with their simplicity and purity of form. Most are surprisingly small, considering their outsize influence, though one is almost human size. The rest of the museum features Greek and Cypriot art dating from 2000 BC to the 4th century AD.

Overall, there's an interesting focus on how these objects were used, culminating in the 4th-floor exhibit, Scenes from Daily Life in Antiquity, where objects are set in photo recreations of ancient scenes.

When you're full of history, check to see if there is an exhibition of contemporary art in the adjacent mansion – if so, it can be reached via the tunnel that's beside the museum's pleasant, modern cafe on the ground floor. There's also a shop selling stylish gifts.

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