Ancient Roman Manga

The incipit of an item from ANSA:

Tokyo, March 29 – An Ancient Roman time traveller who shuttles between his own era and modern-day Tokyo is the hero of the comic strip awarded this year’s global manga prize.Lucius, a Roman architect who specializes in designing public baths, stars in a strip called Thermae Romae, which has been announced as the winner of Japan’s 2010 Cartoon Grand Prize. Created by the Europe-based Japanese artist Mari Yamazaki, the comic tells of how Lucius, a resident of Hadrian’s Rome in the 2nd century AD, is transported into 21st-century Tokyo. The architect is sucked into a hole in a vast bathhouse in Ancient Rome and is ejected into a modern Japanese equivalent, a sento, where at first he doesn’t even notice the difference so similar are the two structures. After the first incident he learns to travel back and forward After the first incident he learns to travel back and forward between the two cultures, although he believes the voyage carries him merely to a far-off country, not another time.

Inspired by his trips into modern Japan, he develops similar innovations for the Ancient Romans, where his suggestions for fruit milkshakes and showercaps are an instant hit. Yamazaki, 42, is originally from Japan but has spent much of her adult life in Europe. She moved to Italy at the age of 17 to study fine art, where she met and married a comparative literature student and history buff, who helped inspire the character of Lucius. But the idea also came from Yamazaki’s own passion for Japan’s public bathhouses. Speaking at the award ceremony by video link from Lisbon, where she lives with her Italian husband, the artist said she still missed sentos despite her many years in Europe.

I haven’t seen a copy in English of this yet; here’s an info page of sorts with what seems to be the cover art if you want to keep your eye open for it ….

Restoring a Roman ‘Burial Fresco’

Interesting item from the Triad (I think):

The Beirut National Museum has launched a six-month project to restore an ancient fresco of Roman burial rites that was first discovered near the southern city of Tyre in 1937.The fresco, discovered in a cave in the region of Burj Shmali by British excavators, was moved to the Beirut National Museum in the 1940’s to save it from degradation. Over the years it was kept in the basement of the museum along with other ancient tombs and artifacts.

The restoration, which will cost around $261,000 provided by the Italian embassy, will help conserve the fresco containing images of soldiers and warrior horses. Some of the images are believed to depict burial rituals of ancient Romans who ruled Tyre and much of the eastern Mediterranean then.

It’s the second time the fresco has undergone restoration. The first was in 1998 to help protect it against humidity.

‘This is a project of conservation of this fantastic wall paintings of Roman age. We are in the tomb of the 2nd century after Christ and the mythology describes the classic mythology connected with the ultra terrain and with the after life and the main myths of the after life. And the project here started actually a few years ago with the rescue of the whole basement of the museum and trying to reduce the amount of humidity that was in here,” said Georgio Capriotti, leader of the team of Lebanese and Italian restoration experts.

The Beirut National Museum contains about 1,300 artifacts from the prehistoric and ancient eras. It was closed in 1975 due to the civil war and reopened in 1999.

The basement of the museum is currently closed to visitors but is expected to reopen in November with the unveiling of the newly-restored fresco.

The original article is accompanied by a not-so-useful photo, but a  nice little embedded CBS video of the restoration work in progress …

Satyr on Display

The incipit of an item in Corriere del Mezzogiorno mentions a satyr found at Santa Maria Capua Vetere two years ago, which is apparently a copy of a Praxiteles in the Capitoline Museum:

Nel foyer del teatro Garibaldi di S. Maria Capua Vetere, dal 15 aprile al 30 giugno, sarà per la prima volta esposto al pubblico il Satiro del II secolo d.C. rinvenuto a Santa Maria Capua Vetere due anni fa, durante gli scavi in via Anfiteatro. Il restauro della statua in marmo, perfetta riproduzione del Satiro di Prassitele conservato nei Musei capitolini a Roma, è durato 18 mesi da parte della della Sovrintendenza ai Beni Archeologici. L’imponente scultura, alta oltre 2 metri, è stata portata alla luce circa due anni fa, nel corso dei lavori all’interno di una proprietà privata. Il marmo, seriamente danneggiato e spezzato in più parti, era rovesciato all’interno dei resti di un ninfeo sepolto a circa tre metri dall’attuale pavimentazione. L’importanza della scoperta ha suscitato l’interesse di archeologi, studiosi e appassionati.

I can’t remember this find ever being reported (I don’t think it is the Marsyas from last summer); anyone know about it?