An exhibition of pre-Colombian artifacts, the Gold of Eldorado, opened at the Royal Academy in London on Tuesday (21 November).
CU Golden Sun
SV Visitor looking at gold exhibits in showcase (3 shots)
MV Gold figurine
CU mr. Alec Bright, design director of Museo ddl Oro, Bogota replying to newsman's question
GV Showcase with gold figurine inside (2 shots)
CU Woman looking at gold breastplate and staff head portraying bird
CU Gold exhibit
SV & CU Raft with minute figures on board -- 'gilded man on aft' (2 shots)
REPORTER: "Have you any idea what the value of all the assembled treasures might be?"
BRIGHT: "No. Their value as gold is not so very great. The only thing I think you can say is that their value as archaeological objects in incalculable."
The organisers were reluctant to say how large an insurance premium they had to pay to cover the exhibition, which would be on display at the royal Academy until March 1979. It is expected to draw huge crowds, equalling those for previously outstanding exhibitions in London in recent years: the treasures of Pompeii, Tutankhamun, and Chinese Art Treasures.
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Background: An exhibition of pre-Colombian artifacts, the Gold of Eldorado, opened at the Royal Academy in London on Tuesday (21 November). The five hundred gold items on display are said to be worth several million academy in London's West End before the doors opened.
SYNOPSIS: This is the most comprehensive collection of Colombian Indian art and craft work ever to go on display outside South America. It was brought from the Colombian capital of Bogota by the design director of the Museo del Oro there, Mr. Alec Bright.
The Colombian Indians had an abundance of gold; to them it was just another metal in which to fashion ornaments and decorations. The figurines and jewellery had tremendous significance in the their concepts of life and death. Historians believe they made many of these pieces while under the influence of drugs.
Spanish conquistadores, who invaded the new world in the sixteen century to plunder its gold, were ancient vandals who melted down many of the superb treasures into gold bullion. Surviving pieces, such as this magnificent group of figures, called "Gilded Man on Raft", survive in museums and private collections around the world.