The original Athena Parthenos by Greek sculptor Phidias was a colossal statue of ivory, silver and 2,400 pounds of gold. The deity’s image was finished in 447 BC. That sculpture is long gone and the Athenian Acropolis is in ruins. But a full-scale reproduction of the goddess of war was created by artist Alan LeQuire in 1990 for display inside Nashville’s Parthenon. This contemporary version was made of gypsum, fiberglass and gold leaf weighing only 8.5 pounds. The statue is as intimidating as it is garish. At 42 feet tall, Athena Parthenos is the largest indoor sculpture in the Western Hemisphere. Look closely at her right hand. She is holding Nike, the winged Greek goddess of victory. The giant serpent behind her shield represents King Erichthonius. He was Athena’s autochthones son (born of the earth) and early ruler of Athens.