White line illustration of a woman wearing robes and with long hair, with arrows and fire symbols surrounding her, against a black background.

A British Museum Spotlight Loan

Troy: beauty and heroism

Exhibition / -

Tour schedule

Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, Reading
21 September – 12 December 2021

Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey
10 February – 8 May 2022

The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, Dundee
19 May – 14 August 2022

Contact us

For more information about how to borrow from the Museum contact: 
ukpartnerships@britishmuseum.org

Helen and Achilles are central characters to the story of the Trojan War. 

The young Greek queen Helen is the most beautiful woman in the world, whose abduction by the Trojan prince Paris triggers the ten year war, while the short but glorious life of Achilles is the tale of one of the greatest Greek heroes. Offering representations of what it means to be a man and woman, debated from antiquity up to the modern day, each are fascinating and complex figures in their own ways.

Following on from the major bp exhibition Troy: myth and reality, key objects from the exhibition will be accessible to audiences around the UK as part of the British Museum's National Programmes. Focusing on significant moments from the lives of Helen and Achilles through the themes of beauty and heroism, these objects will tour to Reading, Surrey and Dundee between September 2021 and August 2022. 

The Spotlight Loan features an Etruscan urn, which has never been on loan before, portraying Helen's abduction by the Trojan prince Paris, while an Athenian amphora shows the brutal side of Achilles. Specially created 3D scans will provide close access to the objects – a first for the Museum's touring programme. These ancient objects are supplemented with artworks by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) and Pietro Testa (1612–1650). 

The touring show will convey key moments in the story of the Trojan War that define the lives and character of these two figures, as interpreted by ancient and modern artists.

Supported by the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe.