This is a brilliantly conceived and designed exhibition. Not only does it display over 200 fascinating and beautiful objects covering all aspects of Scythian life, but it is imaginatively laid out – many of the walls covered with enormous blow-ups of photographs of the ravishingly unspoilt landscape of Siberia, or draped with wall-height hangings showing beautiful silver birch trees.
There is an enormous animation covering a whole wall, showing computer-generated Scythian horsemen riding across a real Siberian landscape, and on another wall an enormous slideshow showing a series of watercolours made of Siberia by Russian artist Pavel Pyasetsky in the 1890s. Siberia, as the commentary reminds us, makes up nearly 10% of the entire land mass of the planet.
Throughout the exhibition there are subtle sound effects from hidden speakers broadcasting forest sounds, wind effects and the stamping and snuffling of horses, to convey the huge empty spaces of the steppe…
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