During the early part of the 20th century, Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos acquired a vast collection of ancient art. Following the death of Vincent and son Denis, most of this collection has been acquired by international museums. Ancient masterpieces from the Diniacopoulos family collection can today be viewed in the British Museum, the Louvre, the ROM, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
In 2001, Queen's Art Conservation Program and the Department of Classics acquired a large number of pieces from the remainder of this collection which originates from all regions of the Mediterranean and date from the prehistoric to the late Roman periods. These pieces include fragments of pottery and sculpture and large lumps of coins. Students from both Art Conservation and Classics have the opportunity to work with original artefacts as they restore and preserve these objects, and publish them in their theses.
Among the pieces acquired in 2001 are 627 Greek and Roman coins, a good part of which have not been identified and studied yet. The Department of Classics and the Art Conservation Program with the help of their students have recently started to study, conserve, and digitize the coins. Archaeometric analyses are also in progress.
The Diniacopoulos coin collection is a Shared Facility in the Matariki Network. The range of types and time periods represented in the collection make the coins a valuable research tool for archaeologists, historians, classicists, ancient art historians, and art conservators around the world.
Ten pieces of the collection are on display in our showcase, 5th floor, John Watson Hall, and a virtual exhibit can be found at: http://virtual-exhibits.library.queensu.ca/diniacopoulos-collection/.