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Alexander the Great

Equestrian statue of the teenager Alexander the Great, work of Giannis Pappas.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1941 Its creation began.

    1973 Completed.

    1992 Exhibited for the first time in the National Gallery and bought by the Ministry of Culture.

    2001 The Ministry of Culture donated it to the Municipality of Athens.

    2019 Placed in its current position.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The equestrian brass statue of Alexander the Great is 3.8m long, 3.45m high and is placed on a high pedestal. The work of the sculptor Giannis Pappas is simple, like most of his works. Through the unarmed Alexander, he wanted to emphasize the aura of Greek civilization, which does not need weapons and conquests to spread. Pappas’ work is not political, which is why Alexander is not depicted as a conqueror, but as a noble teenager. For many years, it could not be decided which location is the most suitable for the sculpture. Its current position, however, is not considered particularly successful.

What I can't see

Pappas crafted the sculpture for 32 years and, through his visits to various museums, studied in depth the types of horses in ancient Greece and the figure of Alexander. The completion and presentation of the sculpture coincided with Greece’s strong reaction to the name of the then Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (today’s North Macedonia) and its attempt to be connected with ancient Macedonia and Alexander the Great, despite the fact that its citizens are of Slavic and Albanian origin. This resulted in many considering the statue as one of the symbols of the then nationalist upsurge. During the late 2000s, in a critical period between the two countries, the Municipality of Athens had attempted to place the statue in Kotzia Square, but the sculptor Sofia Vari did not approve the removal of her own sculpture “Theseus”. Many believed that this attempt had no artistic motives, but functioned as an “answer” to the statue of Alexander the Great in the centre of Skopje. Alexander the Great, son of Philip of Macedonia, completed his father’s life- work, by unifying all Greek cities. Then he marched against the Persians, reaching as far as Egypt and India. At the age of 33 he managed to conquer most of the known world, which ranks him among the most important military men of world history.


Hulot M., (2019), Η περιπέτεια του παρεξηγημένου και άτυχου αγάλματος του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου, [The adventure of the misunderstood and unfortunate statue of Alexander the Great] in Lifo

Last visit 22/6/2023


Antonopoulou Z., (2003), Τα γλυπτά της Αθήνας, Υπαίθρια Γλυπτική1834-2004 [The sculptures of Athens, Outdoor sculpting 1834-2004], Potamos


Aggeli D., (2019), Ο Μεγαλέξανδρος «κατακτά» την Αθήνα, [Alexander the Great “conquers” Athens], in Efimerida ton Syntakton

Last visit 22/6/2023