A scale model of the original Parthenon in Athens can be seen in Centennial Park just west of downtown Nashville, Tennessee. William Crawford Smith, an architect, created the design, and it was constructed in 1897 as a part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Today, the Parthenon, which now serves as an art museum, is the focal point of Centennial Park, a sizable open space to the west of Nashville.
The Athena Parthenos statue in the naos, recreated by Alan LeQuire in 1990, serves as the Parthenon's focal point, exactly as it did in classical Greece. This replica of the Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is thought to be the height of ancient architecture because the structure is complete and its embellishments were polychromed as closely to the believed original as feasible.
Direct casts of the original sculptures that graced the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon and date to 438 BC are used to create the plaster copies of the Parthenon Marbles that may be found in the Treasury Room. The British Museum in London and the Acropolis Museum in Athens are home to the originals that have survived.
The only precise scale and meticulous duplicate of the original temple in Athens, Greece, is found at the Parthenon in Nashville. Nashville capitalized on its reputation as the "Athens of the South" when it built the Fine Art Building, a replica of the most iconic structure in Athens and the pinnacle of Greek classical architecture, to commemorate Tennessee's 100th anniversary of statehood and the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. The Parthenon helped Nashvillians define their perception of themselves and their city, and although it was only meant to be temporary, like all the Centennial buildings, they were reluctant to pull it down when the exposition was over.
The structure was chosen as the focal point of the 1897 Centennial Exposition due to Nashville's reputation as the "Athens of the South". A few of the exposition's structures were replicas of older structures. The only one that was a perfect replica was the Parthenon, though. Although the Knights of Pythias Pavilion building was bought and transported to nearby Franklin, Tennessee, it was also the only one that the city retained.
The Parthenon's permanent collection as an art museum comprises 63 paintings created by American artists in the 19th and 20th centuries that were donated by James M. Cowan. More gallery spaces offer a location for a range of transient displays and exhibits. The Athena Parthenos statue from the original Parthenon in Athens is replicated on the main level and was finished in 1990.
Since the 1930s, the Parthenon has maintained a schedule of alternating art exhibitions in its galleries and has worked to inform locals and visitors about the history of the ancient Greeks and how they influenced American culture. The Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, a division of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, is the owner and operator of the Nashville Parthenon.
Visit also The Hermitage (Nashville, Tennessee)