Goat Pen Kore?

Plenty of coverage of this one, but most seems to be variations on Nicholas Paphitis’ coverage for AP. Here’s the incipit of the Guardian‘s version:

Greek police have recovered an ancient statue worth €12m (£10m) that was illegally excavated and hidden in a goat pen near Athens, and arrested the goat herder and another man who were allegedly trying to sell the work for €500,000.

The marble sculpture of a young woman dates to about 520BC and belongs to the kore type, a police statement said on Wednesday. The 120cm (4ft) work was largely intact, except for a missing left forearm and plinth.

Although dozens of examples of the kore statue and its male equivalent, the kouros, are displayed in Greek and foreign museums, the type is considered important in the development and understanding of Greek art. New discoveries in good condition are uncommon.

Archaeologists who inspected the find estimated its market value at €12m. A spokesman for Athens police said: “They told us that this is a unique piece.”

Still bearing traces of soil, the statue has the hint of a smile on its lips, elaborately braided hair and an ankle-length gown.

Police said it had been concealed near the village of Fyli, in the foothills of Mount Parnitha on the north-western fringes of Athens. The goat herder, 40, and a 56-year-old man were arrested.

Detectives are seeking to determine where the statue was excavated, which could potentially lead archaeologists to a previously unknown ancient sanctuary or cemetery. […]


… et alia.

While the press seems not to be raising questions, various scholarly discussion lists (most notably Classics-l and AegeaNet)  have been questioning the authenticity of the piece, and for good reason. Check out this photo of the piece (tip o’ the pileus to Lampros Kallenos for tracking down the photos from the police press conference on this; the Washington Post piece referenced above also has a few photos):

… and compare it to the famous Peplos Kore in the Acropolis Museum:

via WIkimedia Commons

As Elena Drakaki (and others) astutely noted early on, the Goat Pen Kore is an obvious copy of the Peplos Kore in the Acropolis museum, right down to the ‘damage’ being duplicated (along the bottom and the left arm). As of this a.m., assorted folks are wondering what the thing is made out of, and plaster seems to be the most frequent suggestion. Whatever the case, it probably isn’t worth whatever the goatherders thought they could get for it, much less what the police seem to be valuing it at  …

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