Public Art : Choragic Monument
Sculptor : © Walter McGill
Date : Completed in 1870
Description : Carved yellowblock sandstone copy of
the circular Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, built according to the Corinthian order. The monument
features carved scenes depicting episodes from the myth of Dionysus. It also features six Corinthian
Location : Originally erected at Sir James Martin
( Premier of New South Wales ) home at Macleay Street, Potts Point in 1870, the Choragic Monument was
moved to the Royal Botanic Gardens on the 16th November, 1943.
History of the Choragic Monument : The Choragic Monument is a copy of the original monument of Lysicrates which dates back to 334 BC and still
stands near the Acropolis in Athens.
Sydney stonemason, Walter McGill, carved the circular monument from Pyrmont yellowblock sandstone, in 1870, by
request of the former Premier of New South Wales, Sir James Martin. Sir Martin wanted to have it displayed in
his garden at Potts Point. In 1943 it was removed from Potts Point and moved to the Royal Botanic Garden. Today,
it remains one of the finest examples of Corinthian architecture in Australia.
History of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates: The original Monument of Lysicrates was
built in Athens around 334BC to display the first prize given to Lysicrates of Kikyna, who won a
drama contest at the festival of Bacchus . The monument was just one that was used to line the street of Tripods.
The trophy would have been placed at the very top of the monument.
|This replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates was executed by Walter
sculptor for Sir James Martin, Premier of New South Wales and was erected in the grounds of his
residence at Macleay Street, Potts Point in the year 1870.
When that site was aquired by the Commonwealth Government in connection with the construction of the
graving dock the monument was made available to the State and was removed to the Botanical Gardens at
the request of the Minister for Education the Hon Clive R. Evatt, K.C., M.L.A.
A ceremony to commemorate the re-erection of the monument on this site was preformed by the Hon
W.J.McKell M.L.A. Premier and Treasurer 16th November, 1943.
The original monument which had a square base 12 feet high was erected in Athens about the year 330 BC
to recieve the victors tripod won by Lysicrates at the festival of Bacchus in that year.
Choragic Monuments Around the World : There are several copies of
the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates found around the world. There are several copies in gardens throughout England
including Shugborough, Staffordshire and Alton Towers. In Connecticut, USA, they have converted theirs to a
Civil War Memorial.