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Art en route.

The fact that the freight turns out to be far more than “The Judgement of Paris” on the day is therefore not a problem. Nine paintings and 14 drawings from the Friedenstein Castle Foundation in Gotha, the value of which is almost impossible to estimate, need to be transported to Moscow safe and sound for the exhibition “Cranach’s Family between Renaissance and Mannerism”. In expert hands in velvet gloves and carefully embedded in crates, the precious items are taken by truck from Gotha to Frankfurt (FRA) airport. There, the art works are stored until take-off in a secure area and loaded by trained employees in sealed containers. Both are part of the Safe/td2 service. Lufthansa Cargo’s special program for prestigious items is the product of choice for large art works. Complete documentation of the transport chain is also guaranteed. The art works are flown to Moscow in an MD-11F, flight number LH8384, to Domodedovo Airport (DME), south west of the Russian capital city. The last 45 kilometers of the trip are again by road. Then it’s done. Cranach’s paintings and drawings are received by the team at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts – and following the vernissage celebrated by the public. Apropos celebrations, at the wedding in Olympus the Judgement of Paris was in fact made in favor of the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite. She held out the prospect for him of the love of Helena, the most beautiful of all mortal women. Evidently, the young Paris felt this was more tempting than the offers from Hera (world dominance) and Athena (wisdom).

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No celebrations without uproar – not least in Olympus where three goddesses clashed strongly at a wedding. The matter in dispute? Of course – who is the fairest of them all? Is it Athena, goddess of wisdom who gave her name to, and is the tutelary goddess of the city of Athens? Or Hera, wife of Zeus, the most powerful of all gods? Or perhaps Aphrodite, who as the goddess of love, beauty and sensual desire is effectively predestined for the title? Zeus doesn’t want to make the decision himself. Instead, he delegates the tricky task to Paris, a mortal youth. “The Judgement of Paris” has repeatedly been a source of inspiration for great thinkers for centuries, including Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553). 

The Renaissance artist, lauded to this day for his Luther portraits, was so moved by the episode in Greek mythology that he and his workshop made it the topic of an entire series of paintings. One of the paintings is now part of the Friedenstein Castle Collection in Gotha. The museum in Thuringia has entered into a cooperation with the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, which this spring put on an excellent Cranach Show with some 50 paintings and numerous drawings. 

It includes Gotha’s “The Judgement of Paris”. Lufthansa Cargo was awarded the contract to transport the precious cargo to Russia. At Lufthansa Cargo, we are familiar with the transportation of art works.



Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha / iStock