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Nashville’s best-kept-secret Parthenon graces Centennial Park

Mention the name Nashville, Tennessee, and the first things that comes to mind are invariable music, musicians, and songwriters.   Nashville is known far and wide as Music City, but it’s also the home to a full-size exact replica of the Parthenon in Athen
Nashville Parks & Recreation
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Nashville is known far and wide as Music City, but it’s also the home to a full-size exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens. How this incredible architectural gem came to be dates back to the pioneer days when Nashville was dubbed the Athens of the South due to its passion for education and the arts.

When Tennessee celebrated the 1897 State Centennial exhibition, Nashville contributed the Parthenon to house the Arts building.

Athena statue in Nashville's Parthenon created by Alan LeQuire
Credit Thomas Wilmer
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Athena statue in Nashville's Parthenon created by Alan LeQuire

join sculptor Alan Lequire who created the Parthenon’s 42 foot-tall statue of Athena eight decades after the conclusion of the centennial fair. We’ll then visit with Wesley Paine Director of the Parthenon as she shares the story of the Parthenon’s creation, experiencing the 1897 centennial exhibition, saving and renovating the structure in the 1920s and its use today as Nashville’s gallery of art.    

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Credit Courtesy of Alan LaQuire
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Alan LaQuire at work
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Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee
Credit Thomas Wilmer
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Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee

Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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