Edinburgh Local

Object(s) of the Month: Parthenon Friezes at ECA

The originals of these panels would have decorated the walls of Athens’ Parthenon in Greece.

Pantheon Friezes at ECA
Pantheon Friezes at ECA

This month our Object of the Month is this panel from Edinburgh College of Art’s casts of the Parthenon Frieze which can be found lining the walls of its neo-classical sculpture court. The sculpture court was built specifically to house these casts. You can view 3D models of the panel, as well as one from the West Frieze, from the comfort of your very own home. Simply follow this link.

The Parthenon Frieze depicts the procession of the Great Panathenaia, the greatest festival of the city in honour of the Goddess Athena. The festival took place every four years, lasted 12 days and included rituals, sacrifices, as well as athletic and musical contests. The panels feature humans, deities and animals as they make their way towards the temple of Athena Polias.

The Parthenon Frieze casts, along with the rest of ECA’s cast collection, underwent an extensive conservation process between 2009 -12. You can read more about the process of conservation and watch some videos about it here.

Casts of the Frieze can be found in several other museums and collections around the world but we think this panel in particular could be unique to ECA. Read more about why this is in a blog post written by our Project Development Manager, Norman Rodge.


The Parthenon, Athens, Greece
The Parthenon, Athens, Greece


Did you know? The original Parthenon Frieze was highly coloured and decorated, as were all sculptures at the time. They were also complemented with metal attachments in the form of spears, swords, horse reins and other appropriate accessories, as an additional way of bringing them to life. You can try colouring in this panel for yourself by downloading our colouring sheet below.


You can go for a classical style or for something more unique. Why not try adding some weapons or other accessories using cardboard and tinfoil? We’d love to see your finished creations, tweet them to us @EdinUniLocal.

You might also like to visit the Acropolis Museum’s website on the Parthenon Freize which contains a number of games, quizzes and colouring tools.