The museum space houses 13 large perfectly preserved mosaics/E.C.

The museum space houses 13 large perfectly preserved mosaics / E.C.

One of the best preserved Roman villas in Spain opens as museum in Malaga province

The third century Villa Antíopa offers a real journey back in time, with careful lighting and the latest technologies, which even allows visitors to 'smell' the foods that the villa’s inhabitants would have been eating

Eugenio Cabezas
EUGENIO CABEZAS RINCÓN DE LA VICTORIA

Almost twenty years after the remains of a third century Roman villa were discovered in Torre de Benagalbón in Rincón de la Victoria, on Monday 19 December the Villa Antiopa museum space was opened to the public.

The museum space houses 13 large perfectly preserved mosaics, the most impressive and best preserved, except for a small area of damage which occurred during excavations in 2003, represents the god Zeus disguised as a satyr to seduce the Theban princess Antiopa. The mosaic is located in what would have been the main bedroom of the villa. There is also a marble sculpture of the god Bacchus and 142 archaeological pieces found during the excavations of the site that was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) in 2008.

The complex consists of a residential area or 'pars urbana' which includes a 'balneum' or thermal baths and a 'pars rustica' and 'fructuaria' or agricultural areas and a factory in which salted fish and 'garum' or fish sauce were prepared..

Vídeo. The official opening ceremony. / E. CABEZAS

The local archaeologist and director of the Nerja Museum, Juan Bautista Salado and his brother, Francisco, now mayor of Rincon de la Victoria and president of Malaga’s provincial authority the Diputación, said at the opening that they were “very pleased” with what has been achieved.

Villa Antiopa offers a real journey back in time, with careful lighting and the latest technologies in virtual and augmented reality, which even allows visitors to 'smell' the foods that the villa’s inhabitants would have been eating.

The central government’s representative in Malaga, Javier Salas, considered it "a great day for the heritage of the province, which has a new point of tourist interest." An investment of 1.5 million euros went in to the museum, of which the central government contributed 673,797 euros and the rest was financed by Rincón de la Victoria town hall.