This is a reconstruction of the colossal (39 ft. high) statue of Athena Parthenos ('virgin'), created by the sculptor Pheidias, in the Parthenon. This statue was made of wood, plated with gold and ivory. Athena holds a statue of Nikê in her right hand. Her sacred snake1 peeks out from behind her shield.
1. The Greeks viewed the snake positively as a symbol of renewal (sloughs off its old skin) and was associated with gods of the earth.