Venice exhibit focusses on contributions of "barbarians"

A new exhibit at Venice's Palazzo Grassi endeavors to disprove the reputation of the "barbaric tribes" during Europe's Dark Ages. Rome and the Barbarians: Birth of a New World will be at the Palazzo Grassi until July 20, 2008.

From the exhibit catalog:

"The Barbarian kingdoms," writes Jean-Jacques Aillagon in the catalogue, "gradually drew a new political map of Europe, dividing it between the Ostrogoths and the Lombards in Italy, the Franks in western Germany, Belgium and France, the Visigoths in Languedoc, Aquitaine and the Iberian peninsula." He continues: "If Europe was born in Athens, Jerusalem and Rome, many of its roots also lie in the peoples of the north and east of the European continent." The aim of the exhibition, he writes: "Is to reveal the profound and subtle mix between Graeco-Roman and Germanic roots from which European culture stems."