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ROTTIERS, Bernard Eugène Antoine. Description des Monumens de Rhodes, dediée à sa majesté le Roi des Pays-Bas, Mme V. A. Colinez, Brussels, 1830 - Monumens de Rhodes [Λεύκωμα], Mme V. A. Colinez, Brussels, 1828.

Bernard Rottiers (1771-1857) was a Flemish army official. He was born in Antwerp and joined the Russian army during the occupation of Flanders by Napoleon (1808). He was entrusted with military missions to Georgia against the Persian and Ottoman armies (1811).

In 1818 Rottiers returned to the Netherlands by way of the Black Sea, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France and England. While in Athens, he met French consul L. Fauvel and Austrian consul G. Gropius, both of whom were involved in trading antiquities. Rottiers financed an excavation on the outskirts of Athens (Aixone), organized thanks to the influence of the two consuls. The three men shared the findings and Rottiers returned to his country with some classical funerary steles of excellent quality, which made up the first collection of Greek antiquities (although declared to be “of unknown origin”) and were sold to the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities) of Leiden in 1820.

In 1824 Rottiers acquired funding from the Ministery of Interior of his country to organize a two-year expedition in Greece in order to collect antiquities for the National Museum of Leiden. The project could not be realized due to the ongoing Greek Revolution and thus Rottiers changed destination and stayed in Rhodes for six months. He worked on an edition which describes and depicts the medieval monuments of the islands, and devoted little effort to the collection of antiquities. Nevertheless, after short excavations in Milos, Rottiers managed to obtain a Roman mosaic, an altar, a late Hellenistic bust, a kouros statue from Thera and several Cycladic vases.
To date, the present edition remains an invaluable source for the study of Rhodes' medieval monuments.

Written by ioli Vingopoulou

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