Palace relief from Nimrud © Glyptoteket

Iconoclasm – Art as a Battleground

Special Exhibitions /22.11.2024 - 18.05.2025

From recarved portraits of emperors and castrated statues to maimed women’s bodies and erased inscriptions.

In late 2024, the Glyptotek will open the special exhibition Iconoclasm – Art as a Battleground.

For millennia, people have destroyed art to challenge the established order of things and to demonstrate religious changes and differences. Drawing on the museum’s impressive collection of ancient artefacts, the exhibition will shine a light on humankind’s turbulent relationship with art, and explore what compels us to destroy it.

The emotional, sometimes even violent interaction with the works featured in the exhibition, demonstrates that, even in ancient times, art was a battleground for power struggles and a place where identities where negotiated.

Iconoclasm will present works not only from the Glyptotek’s own collections, but also from the likes of the British Museum in London, the Vatican Museum in Rome and the Altes Museum in Berlin.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with contributions from international experts. The catalogue can be purchased in the museum shop or the webshop after publication.

Our sincere thanks for generous support for the exhibition from:

Ny Carlsbergfondet

Cover photo: Palace relief from Nimrud © Glyptoteket

The face and right hand of the magical being, Apkallu, have been defaced in antiquity. The relief originates from the palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE) in Nimrud, Iraq, which was besieged by the Medes and Babylonians in 612 BCE. Depictions of the Assyrian royal family and their winged protectors were vandalized, with a particular focus on the sensory organs of the relief figures.


See the exciting activities and events, the Glyptotek has to offer. Please note, the events in Danish will not be presented here. Go to the Danish version of the homepage to see all events.


Enjoy a delicious lunch at Picnic overlooking the Glyptotek's beautiful Winter Garden.

After Nature

Experience a new reading of the Glyptotek’s paintings by the Danish writer Josefine Klougart