Skip to main content

The bronze Zeus returned to Italy

Earlier today I noted the return of a marble female torso and a bronze Zeus to Italy. The statue of the Zeus is distinctive with the right arm lost below the elbow. (There is now a short statement on the Carabinieri website; see also "Zeus statue returned to Italian museum after 30 years", Daily Telegraph November 19, 2010)

Paul Barford also noted the story and added a quote from AFP.
The bronze statue, which was stolen from the National Roman Museum in 1980, was sold by Sotheby's auction house in New York in 2006 and later put on display at an exhibition in Cleveland in the US state of Ohio.
I have been unable to find a bronze Zeus at auction at Sotheby's in 2006. However a bronze figure of a Zeus, some 24 cm tall, with a "missing right hand" (it appears to be missing from the elbow) was auctioned at Sotheby's New York on 9 December 2004, lot 249.

The Zeus auctioned at Sotheby's in 2004 had been exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art:
The Gods Delight: The Human Figure in Classical Bronze, Arielle P. Kozloff and David Gordon Mitten, eds., catalogue of the exhibition at The Cleveland Museum of Art, November 16th, 1988 - January 8th, 1989, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 9th - April 9th, 1989, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 9th - July 9th, 1989, Cleveland, 1988, no. 29, pp. 168-172, illus.
At the time of the Cleveland exhibition this Zeus was the property of Mr and Mrs Lawrence A. Fleischman. The Fleischman statue had appeared in the Search for Alexander exhibition at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in 1982. It was published by Joyce Geary Volk ("A Lysippan Zeus", California Studies in Classical Antiquity 3, 2 [1984] 272-83) who reported that in 1984 the Zeus was the property of Edward H. Merrin: "Mr Merrin purchased it from a dealer who had obtained it from a Swiss collector in the late 1960s".

Image
AP via artdaily.com

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.