A standard-looking Roman bust was purchased in a Texas thrift store by an unsuspecting culture fan called Laura Young. What initially cost just $34.99 for an impressive piece of carved stone turned out to be an authentic Roman era antique. The 2000-year-old piece of artistic masonry was identified as the real article with help from Sotheby’s. The art dealing experts clarified that the piece was indeed from ancient times and had been once part of a Roman building.
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It's unsure who the bust is made to resemble, however from historical sources the face seems to look like Sextus Pompey, a well-regarded military leader. Similarities can be found between the face on the bust and the face of Pompey the Great, the father of Sextus. Pompey the Great is depicted on several coins and busts from that period.
During WWII, the bust was on display in a reconstruction of a Pompeii house. The famous situation that was preserved under a mountain of ash was a perfect archetype for Roman life. Furnishing the replica house with genuine artefacts from the time undoubtedly helped to fortify the experience. As the bombs fell on Germany, the bust was removed and stored somewhere for safe keeping. At some point, probably during the 1950s, an American soldier must have smuggled the bust out of the country.
The head is currently on display in the San Antonio Museum of Art. In May, it will be returned to its rightful owners in Germany and begin its permanent residence at the Glyptothek in Munich.
Statues from times past have been in the news a lot recently, thanks to a set of creatively confident young children. When their supervisor handed them some crayons to keep them occupied, they chose the two-hundred-year-old face and body of the nymph Sabrina. This mythological woman, with breasts on show, has been covered in the familiar tones of scribbled blue pencil. Hopefully, the mess can be rubbed off without too much fuss.
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