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Faculty of Classics

Beyond the Pale: A trail to bring colour to Classics

Take a look around our Cast Gallery, and the dominant impression is that Greek and Roman sculpture is as pale as it is interesting.


But Greek and Roman sculpture was not colourless. In this trail, we explore what difference it might make to see Greek and Roman sculpture with its pigment restored. We also explore the consequences over the centuries of seeing the Greek and Roman world without colour. 

Beyond the Pale tackles issues from paint shadows and invasive cleaning to 'facial angle theory’, race and imperialism. In doing so, it reveals some of the ways in which Greek and Roman sculpture has been used and abused as well as the diversity of ancient art and society.


Follow the trail...

Follow the trail from Bay A around the Gallery, and pick up a token at the front desk to have your say and vote on what you think the future of the Parthenon sculptures should be: should those in the British Museum stay in the British Museum or be returned to Greece?

  • Interpretation panels available around the Cast Gallery
  • Handtrail to follow
  • Colouring sheets available from the Family Fun area in Bay A


The painted and restored Peplos Kore in Bay A


The Terme Boxer's reconstruction of complex polychromy in bronze, in Bay J

Every cast tells two stories.
One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.


Just drop in: no need to book



Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm
Sat (univ. term-time only): 2-5pm
Sun and Monday: Closed

Closed on Bank Holidays


Saturday Opening

We are currently open on Saturdays until Saturday 26 November 2022 (inclusive).

Please note: We are only open on Saturdays during University of Cambridge term time.


Christmas Closure

We will be closed from Thursday 22 December 2022 to Wednesday 4 January 2023, inclusive.


Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue

We do not have an entrance on the road. Find us inside the Sidgwick Site.


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Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402


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Copyright statement

All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. If you would like to reproduce our images, you can now do so for non-commercial use at no charge.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.