The philosophy behind The Lysicrates Foundation is simple. It is that those who pursue intellectual or artistic endeavours of any kind are the ones who define a society, and who will be remembered. Accordingly, this is the dedication of the Foundation’s first book, The Lysicrates Prize 2015: The People’s Choice:
To all scribblers, daubers and assorted eggheads – a society’s real treasures.
There are several ways the Foundation seeks to put this philosophy into practice. First is in the support it provides for the restoration of Sydney’s lovely sandstone replica of the ancient Athenian Lysicrates Monument. The marble original was erected in 334 B.C. to celebrate a win in the Great Dionysia, the theatre festival that stopped the city of Athens for a week every year, and this led to the second aim of the Lysicrates Foundation, namely to take that ancient Athenian model and create a playwriting competition in modern Sydney, an “Archibald Prize” for playwriting. In this one, just like in ancient Athens, it is the audience that selects the winner.
A third objective of the Foundation is to foster and encourage a sense of history in modern Australian society, not just of ancient history, although that is certainly a definite Foundation aim, but of the 19th and 20th centuries in modern Australia. The original Lysicrates Monument came out of the ancient world, but its modern replica had the most extraordinary and revealing history, which is largely unknown to us today. The Foundation aims to re-introduce to modern Australian society a familiarity with the remarkable stories behind the replica’s continued existence.
Learn more about the Lysicrates heritage.