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East stairs

Plaster casts of the ancient world

The East Stairs display nineteenth century plaster casts of ancient sculptures from the New World and the Old World.

The casts on the ground floor and lower staircase are from Copan in Honduras, and Palenque and Yaxchilan in Mexico. Two large painted casts on the middle landing are from the tombs of the pharaohs Sety I and Merenptah in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

At the top there are casts from the Hall of a Hundred Columns and the Palaces of Darius and Xerxes at Persepolis in Iran. The original sculptures still exist at these sites but are now damaged and weathered so these casts provide a permanent record of their earlier appearance.

These displays offer a dramatic connection with nearby galleries: