Statue of Athena

About the Statue

Standing proudly outside the Classic Center and facing downtown Athens, the statue of Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, symbolizes the community's namesake - Athens, Greece.

Inscribed on her base is the Athenian Oath: "We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City's laws and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive increasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us."

This oath was taken by the youth of ancient Athens when they reached the age of seventeen. The words Wisdom, Learning, Arts, Athletics, Industry, Commerce, and Agriculture are inscribed around her pedestal.

The statue was created by area artist Jean Westmacott. The design was chosen from submissions by Project Athena, a group formed in 1993 that was dedicated to fostering public art in Athens.

Westmacott described some of the statue's attributes to Georgia Trend magazine in July 1996: "There were two statues of Athena in the Parthenon [in Athens, Greece]. The smaller statue was the focus of a procession that occurred every four years, and part of the event was to bring a new 'peplos' or cloak to Athena. My sculpture depicts her carrying this cloak, a gift from the citizens of Athens, while her other hand holds a shield. On the shield is a motif of an olive leaf pattern, which can be interpreted as the Olympic laurel wreath."