Height: Kekrops 1.27 m
Height: Pandrosos 1.37 m
Length: group 1.84 m
Width: group 0.6 m
Marble from Penteli
Two statues made from the same piece of marble that are interpreted as Kekrops and his daughter Pandrosos.
The figures kneel on the ground while they are turned towards the scene of the dispute between Athena and Poseidon, which was placed in the centre of the pediment. The man with his himation around his waist rests on his left arm and raises his right hand in which perhaps he held some sort of sceptre. The young woman depicted in a smaller scale embraces with her right arm her father's shoulders. She is dressed in a belted chiton that leaves her left breast uncovered. Her himation falls over the chiton and is wrapped around her right thigh. A snake sculpted in a separate piece of marble coils between the two figures indicating the king's Kekrops native origin.
The statues were in their original place on the temple's pediment until 1977 when they were removed for their protection from air pollution and bad weather conditions. Their heads, parts of their arms, as well as the snake, were broken off beforehand and lost. Only a part of the snake, currently in the British Museum in London, has been preserved after it was forcefully detached by Thomas Bruce, lord of Elgin, who removed most of the sculptures that he found on the pediments between 1801 and 1804 when Greece was still under Ottoman occupation. In the Acropolis Museum a plaster copy of the snake is exhibited.
The west pediment of the Parthenon portrays the dispute between Athena and Poseidon regarding who would become the divine protector of Athens. The contest was held on the Acropolis in the presence of the city mythical kings Kekrops and Erechtheus and other local heroes, who as judges decided the outcome in favour of Athena, preferring her gift, the olive tree, to the salty water offered by Poseidon. The centre of the scene is occupied by the two protagonists and their chariots whereas the pediments' corners contain the personifications of two rivers that flowed in ancient Athens, Ilissos and Kephissos. Due to the misadventures suffered by the monument over the following centuries many sculptures have been lost, some survive in mutilated form whereas others are represented only in small fragments.
The two Parthenon pediments are adorned with about fifty oversized statues. The sculptures, perfectly worked even on their unseen, rear sides, present scenes from the myths of the goddess Athena.
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