The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Challenges


Use your imagination!

Challenge 1: Did Zeus laugh?

When the Romans looted the temple at Olympia, they built a scaffold around the statue of Zeus. That was to help workmen to dismantle the statue, so that it could be taken back to Rome for the rather nasty Emperor Caligula. The scaffold collapsed. The workmen thought they heard the statue laugh.

What if it had really laughed? What happened next?

Challenge 2: Destruction

The statue of Zeus was eventually destroyed by fire. Another one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes, was destroyed by an earthquake. The statue of Zeus lasted 800 years. The Colossus lasted only 56 years.

How long will the Statue of Liberty (in the USA) last? What could be done to ensure that it has an 800-year life?

Challenge 3: Usefulness

What is the largest statue in your area, or in  your country? Why was it erected? Is it there just to be admired, or is it useful in any way? Should statues by useful? Is it a good idea to spend huge sums of money designing and building huge structures that people cannot live in?

Challenge 4:

A group of you have been appointed to the International Statue Committee. You represent more than just your own country you represent many countries. Your first job is to decide which great person of the 20th century should be honoured by a gigantic statue. Your next task is to decide where it will be erected. Then you have to design it and work out if it will have any purpose other than to be admired. Finally, you must stipulate what materials it will be made of. OK? Now go ahead.

Notice that I didn't say what 'great' implies. You and your committee must decide.

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