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Natalie Kampen on the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum

FOLLOWING A FIVE-YEAR construction project (and a decade of planning before that), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has opened its new Greek and Roman galleries with refashioned spaces and displays that will no doubt spark some debate, comprising as they do a complex balancing act of scholarly, aesthetic, and educational missions set within the larger framework of American museum economics and collecting. Indeed, one hopes that the reinstallation and renaming of the spaces—for donors to the collection as well as those who financed the renovations—will inspire an extended discussion, as the occasion offers a chance to consider anew both the history of this collection and the collecting of antiquities in general.

The museum’s holdings are now on view as never before, with thousands of works that were previously in long-term storage given more square footage and better light than

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