The Lion

1990s

The Lion

Era: 

  • 1982 - 2000
  • mesopotamian lion with visitors

    Here is the lion on his pedestal

The first time I visited the ROM would have had to have been in the early 90's. I was still quite young and I remember the old entrance and the feeling of walking into a very impressive and antiquated space. While I think that all 90's kids remember the dinosaurs and the bat cave.... I most notably remember the Lion. I don't remember a sign, or a label... I just remember it sitting unceremoniously against a wall with a small sign that said "Do not touch." It wasn't until my twenties that I realized it was one of THE lions from the Ishtar gate. That this lion held biblical fame and was one of of many lions, and uruks and dragons that lined the ziggurat of Nebuchadnezzar II. No, to me he was a lone animal without other company, and of mysterious origins. I would stare at his wild eyes and his teeth and imagine how the colours must have once been bolder. While my parents would walk away I would stand there alone in front of him, wander up to him cautiously, and in spite of the sign, I would hold my hand flat to pet him. I was an 8 year old rebel, trying to tame a wild lion.

During the Mesopotamian exhibit, I smiled when I saw him. I felt like I was seeing an old friend, and he looked great. Keep him up on that podium so no little idiots like me touch him!

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