Brief item from ANSA:
In spite of being a major tourist draw, the so-called Riace Bronzes are still being housed in temporary quarters, three years after they were moved for museum renovations. An estimated 100,000 people have visited the two famous full-size Greek nude bearded warriors from 460-450 BC since they were moved to regional council headquarters.
Placed in reclining positions, the warriors await renovations of the city’s National Archeological Museum, where they used to live. The contract has gone out to bid, and the job should be done by the end of the year of the beginning of the next, officials said.
”I know it’s not nice seeing them horizontal, but we can’t stand them up again until they’re in their final placement in the museum”, Calabria archeology superintendent Simonetta Bonomi told ANSA. ”Restoration of the statues ended in 2011.
They are now being kept in optimal conditions, in a micro-climatized hall”.
In case you’ve forgotten, back in October we were told the museum would be reopening in December, although not many folks believed that (Whither the Riace Bronzes?). I guess we’ll just continue shaking our heads …
This just in from ANSA:
Archaeologists are investigating the discovery of a gilded bronze lion found off the coast of Calabria not far from where the famed Riace Bronzes were discovered 40 years ago.
Armour in bronze and copper was also found by a diver and two tourists in the area that is now closed to the public as investigators probe the details of the find.
One of the divers who made the discovery said there may be a ship and other important artifacts there as well.
“When I went into the water, I saw a statue that was stuck between the rocks and a piece of the ship,” explained Bruno Bruzzaniti.
“The tides, however, cover everything and then you must be really fortunate to be able to see other items that are still at the bottom of the sea.” The discovery sounds similar to that of the iconic Riace Bronzes, 2,500-year-old statues representing ancient warriors which were discovered in 1972 by a Roman holidaymaker scuba diving off the Calabrian coast.
That find turned out to be one of Italy’s most important archaeological discoveries in the last 100 years.
Those statues are of two virile men, presumably warriors or gods, who possibly held lances and shields at one time. At around two metres, they are larger than life.
The newly discovered bronze lion is said to be about 50 centimetres high and weighs 15 kilograms. Also found in the area of the lion were remains of vases and other statues.
An early hypothesis suggests that all these newly found items were aboard a ship that sank just off the Calabrian coast.
However, it’s up to experts in the Cultural Heritage department to determine the precise age of the artifacts and piece together what happened that left the objects strewn around the sea bed.
“We think these are pieces of value and the important thing is that they be safeguarded and protected,” said Bruzzaniti. “It’s a great discovery for the whole of Calabria.” It’s believed the discovery was made last week, but authorities say they weren’t informed until Monday.
If so, that’s contrary to regulations that oblige explorers to report historic finds within 24 hours, said Simonetta Bonomi, superintendent for archaeological and cultural heritage of Calabria,.
“There are a number of elements that must be…clarified,” she said Tuesday.
Most of the print coverage (English and Italian) seems to derive from the same ANSA coverage and includes a too-small photo. However, I did come across some TG coverage worth looking at: