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Musee Lapidaire Avignon

One of the most interesting museums in Avignon is Musee Lapidaire . Though Avignon has several museums, this museum is particularly eye catching because of the Gallo-Roman sculptures. Now you may be wondering what exactly is Gallo-Roman sculpture? To delve in the answer to this question, certain facts must be made clear right at the beginning. Celtic and Graeco Roman art had some irreconcilable differences.

Celtic art was basically decorative and abstract, but Graeco Roman art leaned more towards naturalism and anthropomorphism. Gallo-Roman religious sculpture had some elements of influence from indigenous Celtic religion. The Celts were fervent nature worshippers, but with the advent of Christianity, symbolism in religion took a totally different dimension.

Musee Lapidaire, Avignon has a baroque facade . It was actually a 17 th century Jesuit church which has turned into an exciting museum of mainly Gallo-Roman sculptures . If you are very interested in religious art, then you can spend some hours here, otherwise just for the sake of sightseeing you will be done with the exhibits in an hour. The exhibits illustrate the history of the different civilizations that had made Provence their home. Each exhibit is different from each other. They will evoke different reactions in different people. Some of them are creepy, including the statue of a man eating monster, Tarasque discovered at Noves. Fascinating Greco-Roman statues are on exhibition, including a superb copy of Praxiteles' “ Apollo the Python Killer ”. A great number of antique sarcophagi and funerary art is also on show, including an unusual series of masks from Vaison .

The baroque chapel in which Musee Lapidaire has been housed is a typical example of chapel architecture of 17 th century. Not has Gallo-Roman sculpture found a place here, you will be able to observe from close quarters altars to ancient deities (mainly Celtic), Greek and Etruscan pieces, and works on stone. It is interesting to note how the different cultures in Provence have left their mark in such works of art and sculpture.

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