chapter  3
27 Pages

Statues of great artists erected near museums

ByJ. Pedro Lorente

Cultural institutions have often been built at urban heights, granting visitors not only access to collections displayed indoors but also the chance to enjoy panoramic views from a monumental vantage point commonly perceived as an identifying icon of the respective city. Mount Mouseion, one of the hills surrounding Athens, has made an indelible imprint on European languages. The name, an allusion to its legendary dedication to the goddesses of literature, science and the arts, became renowned because of the cultural complex which for centuries dominated the skyline of ancient Alexandria and produced term museum. Many museums continue to stand on top of hills, and the people visiting them seem to ascend into cultural sublimation above and beyond commoner pursuits. The monumental amalgam of urbanism, public art and museum in the heart of the garden city culminated as funeral crown. Joseph Maria Olbrich considered both the tower and the exhibition hall crowning the hill as the culmination of the Mathildenhohe.