In 1982, Alan LeQuire competed and won the commission to recreate for the Parthenon in Nashville the lost Athena Parthenos by fifth-century Greek sculptor, Pheidias. Over the eight years it took to complete, the Athena project became the most difficult, challenging, and rewarding commission any figurative sculptor could hope for—and hope to survive.
This work required LeQuire to expand his knowledge of materials and sculpting techniques and to greatly broaden and deepen his knowledge of classical mythology. The unveiling of Athena Parthenos in 1990 made LeQuire a celebrity and figure of controversy throughout Tennessee and attracted favorable notice from classical scholars, archaeologists and art critics nationwide, along with articles in Artnews and the New York Times Magazine.
“Alan LeQuire has managed to win and successfully complete two of the most ambitious public art commissions ever conceived... Few contemporary sculptors have tackled projects of such massive scale and technical complexity.” —M. Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief American Artist, April 2004