Columbus Museum of Art exhibition explores the artistry of Ancient Rome

The Columbus Museum of Art presents Marvelous Menagerie. An Ancient Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel is on view through January 13, 2013 exploring the artistry of Ancient Rome.

Nearly 300-square feet large and more than 1700 years old, this stunning mosaic is one the best-preserved in the world and exemplifies the artistic excellence of the Roman Empire. The Lod Mosaic is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center.

Discovered in 1996 in Lod, Israel, the Lod Mosaic is unique with its depiction of fish, birds, beasts and ancient sailing ships. Scholars believe the mosaic decorated the floor of a large assembly room in a well-appointed private villa. The centerpiece of the mosaic is a large square medallion that features a scene of exotic, African animals. Two rectangular end panels flank the square. In one of these, scenes of various animals attacking their prey are interspersed with calmer scenes of fish and birds. The remaining panel portrays a fabulous marine scene filled with a profusion of fish and Roman merchant ships.

Following its tour of the U.S., the mosaic will travel to the Louvre in Paris and the Altes Museum in Berlin before returning to its original site in Israel where the new Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center is being established.

The Columbus Museum of Art creates great experiences with great art for everyone. The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and the Charlotte R. Haller, Lewis K. Osborne, and Robert B. Hurst funds of The Columbus Foundation provide ongoing support. CMA and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and until 8:30 pm every Thursday. The Palette Express is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and Saturday through Sunday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. For additional information, call 614.221.4848 or visit

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