Five thousand years ago a new chapter of European history was opened on a group of islands in the middle of the Aegean. Cycladic culture marked the beginning of a new era which ultimately defined the whole of Europe: the Bronze Age. This development was triggered by the introduction of technical innovations which changed the living conditions on the numerous islands. The use of the new raw material bronze for tools and weapons is one example. The inhabitants of the Cycladic islands acquired this knowledge as a result of their active exchanges with neighbouring peoples. Cycladic culture is famous for its exquisite marble idols. Their abstract style fascinated modern artists such as Picasso and Brancusi. Today, it is a known fact that these idols were painted. But which function did they fulfil? Recently archaeological research has been examining this and other questions. The sensational results are being shown in this exhibition for the first time in connection with important exhibits from all over Europe. The show conveys a new image of the Cyclades in which art and culture are specifically linked to the question of the living circumstances of the times.