The Coin of Coins: A World Premiere

May 27, 2004-December 25, 2004
Location: Billy Rose Pavilion
Curator: Haim Giter
Media: Silver coin
Struck in Sicily in the mid-fifth century BCE, the unique Aitna tetradrachm is among the most splendid achievements of Greek art. This silver coin is rich with historical and iconographic significance, shedding light on the short-lived colony of Aitna and the symbols its inhabitants held dear. The masterwork of one of the finest die engravers of all times, the Aitna tetradrachm is also a coin of singular beauty, which has earned a place among the artistic wonders of the ancient world. Prior to this exhibit, the coin did not leave the Bibliotheque royale in Brussels since its arrival there in 1899, and was only shown to scholars upon special request. Its exhibition at the Israel Museum, along with other coins attributed to the Aitna Master, constituted its world premiere.