Days Out: Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by HodgePodgeDays

Despite only being 39 minutes away on the train, Liverpool is a city I have only taken my son to once or twice. This week I decided to remedy that and together we visited the World Museum in Liverpool. We were mainly going to see their Return of the Gods special exhibition, but it was an excellent excuse to spend some time exploring the whole museum.

World Museum is just 4 minutes walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station. It has five floors of exhibits and things to do, including; the worlds second oldest aquarium; the bug house; the Clore Natural History Centre; World Cultures; Ancient Egypt; Dinosaurs and the Natural World; Space and Time and they even have their own planetarium! It’s well thought out for families and there’s a large café, several indoor picnic areas if you bring your own food, a buggy park, lockers and toilets on every floor. The World Museum is free to enter and is open every day during the school holidays.

Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

We visited the World Museum specifically to take in their Return of the Gods exhibition, so when we arrived, we headed straight there. It’s located on their second floor and you have to buy tickets (£8 adults, under 18’s free), which you can buy at the Information Desk, or if you’re more organised than me, online before you arrive.

The exhibition is based around the collections of 18th century antiquarian Henry Blundell of Sefton. Henry amassed a large collection of sculptures depicting the Greek Gods, and a great many of them are featured here. The exhibition is really accessible in terms of how it is presented and the language used. The information is in small, bite-sized chunks, with illustrations which help you get a better idea of the Gods. There’s also quite a helpful family tree style illustration at the start, so that’s worth taking a quick photo of to refer to as you go around.

Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

Zeus, King of the Gods

Interspersed around the sculptures, there are other small artefacts from archaeological digs; including urns, small trinkets and sarcophagus panels. Towards the end, you enter a Roman Villa and you can find out more about villa life and the Gods and Emperors. The final room takes you through to the underworld to meet Hades.

The statues of the Greek Gods are a sight to behold. They are all around 2 metres in height and it’s well worth spending time looking at all the details picked out in marble. My son, who is 12 has been studying the Greek Gods at school, so he came with some prior knowledge and was able to tell me some of the stories of the Gods. He’s usually quick to tell me if he’s bored and we need to move on, but he was really interested in the content of the exhibition, took his time to look at the sculptures and was really engaged in the content of the displays.

Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

Artemis looks at Apollo

Return of the Gods is a multi-sensory exhibition, with flashing lights and effects. You can dash through in five minutes, but we really took our time to read and learn and reflect on what was being said. We really liked how the information was presented and there was plenty of space to stand back and take in the statues. We liked learning more about the myths surrounding these Gods, and about their relationships with each other. From Zeus, Hera, Hercules, Demeter, Athena and my own favourite, Artemis, almost all of the Gods are represented.

Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

Learning about Hercules and the Nemean lion

The tickets are timed entry, so you’re very unlikely to hit a bottleneck of people. This worked really well for us as there was no jostling to see exhibits. There were a few families there as well as us, all with at least one child who really knew their Greek mythology! It’s a really stunning exhibition, and one I am really pleased we made the 39 minute train journey to see! It’s made us both come home and dig out some of our books on Greek mythology to find out even more about the lives and loves of these incredible characters.

Return of the Gods, World Museum, Liverpool

Tickets: Adults £8. Members and children under 17 go free. Optional guided tours are £5 plus your entry ticket (subject to availability) Visit the World Museum website to find out more about the exhibition. The Exhibition runs until 20th February 2024.

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