Did You See This?

Installing a 2,000-Year-Old Sculpture

How it’s done.

Have you ever wondered how huge, ancient sculptures are installed in museums? If so, you’re in luck. In this video, the Metropolitan Museum of Art takes viewers behind the scenes of the installation of Athena Parthenos, an ancient Greek sculpture from around 170 B.C.

The sculpture is safely tied onto a cart and very carefully wheeled through one of the Greek and Roman galleries—which is packed with other statues—to the lobby. It is then unpacked and lifted onto a pedestal using pulleys. The head is brought in separately, and lifted onto Athena’s shoulders. There is a hidden pole running through the head, allowing it to fit together with the body like a puzzle.

Athena Parthenos will be on display for the next two years.