Rethymno Wooden Sculptures Museum

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Location: Axos
Don't miss: Museums guide (free admission dates and other useful info)

Located in the Axos village, at the foothills of the imposing Mount Psiloritis, the Wooden Sculptures Museum houses the permanent collection of the self-taught sculptor George Koutantos and is the outcome of his 20-year-long involvement with woodcarving.

It was established in 2010 in a two-storey building that covers a surface of 300 square meters and exhibits over 100 sculptures. Themes include, among others, folk figures like the lyre player, as well as scenes inspired by nature, religion, society and mythology. Thus, visitors have the chance to get a glimpse of the local folklore, social relationships, elements of Cretan history and much more.

Most sculptures are in natural size, while some of them, like The Eagle and the Snake or the Little Mermaid, are much larger, reaching a length of up to 6 six meters. The material used for these works of art comes from centenarian dead trees or trees that have been uprooted as a result of natural disasters. The ones collected near the Arkadi Monastery, in particular, are of great historical value, as bullets from the Cretan struggles for liberation have been discovered inside their trunks.

Besides the museum itself, it is also possible to see the artist’s woodcarving workshop and get a fascinating insight into this magical art form.

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