Being in Berlin has its perks. One is the incredible museums. Last week we took an afternoon and went to see the Pergamonmuseum. Most of the artifacts were taken from Turkey in the 1800s. That is what the West did. And it isn't even that Germany was terribly interested in the artifacts. The Prussians just looked around and saw great big museums in Paris and London and didn't want to be left behind. I think they 'caught up' pretty well.
As you walk into the first "exhibit" you find yourself at the foot of an ancient Greek Altar—The Pergamon Altar, or Altar to Zeus.
While much of it is reconstructed, all the friezes are the orignal. They depict the epic battle between the gods and the giants. The friezes wrap the entire room, and are only a portion of the original. Larger than life humans, with stone flesh, wresting with ani-morphs and crumbling.
I usually think of artifacts, museums, etc as being beautiful, but monochromatic. Objects do, after all, loose their pigment over time. This gate is brilliant deep blue and bright yellow. The tiles catch the light. It was spectacular.