Gladiators Get the Boot

Kind of surprised this isn’t getting more attention … it’ll probably show up in weekend papers or something … from UPI:

Rome city officials said the costumed gladiators and centurions will no longer be allowed to ask for money around the Colosseum.

Davide Bordoni, the city’s councilor for commerce, said a task force will be in effect starting Friday to stop the costumed performers from asking tourists to pay them money to pose for pictures, ANSA reported Thursday.

Archeology Superintendent Maria Rosa Barbera, who ordered the crackdown, also told licensed vendors around the Colosseum to distance themselves from the costumed characters.

Officials said the gladiators and centurions will still be able to work in locations including the road leading to the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Renaissance Piazza Navona.

… this is likely a followup to last summer’s: Gladiator Sting at Colosseum

Other coverage:

Bryn Mawr Reviews

  • 2012.03.56:  Ernst Heitsch, Platon, Größerer Hippias. Platon Werke. Übersetzung und Kommentar, VII 1.
  • 2012.03.55:  Dominique Lenfant, Les Perses vus par les Grecs. Lire les sources classiques sur l’empire achéménide. Collection U – Histoire.
  • 2012.03.54:  Carl Joachim Classen, Herrscher, Bürger und Erzieher. Beobachtungen zu den Reden des Isokrates. Spudasmata, Bd 133.
  • 2012.03.53:  W. R. Paton, Frank W. Walbank, Christian Habicht, Polybius: The Histories. Vol. IV, Books 9-15 (revised edition). Loeb classical library, 159.
    W. R. Paton, Frank W. Walbank, Christian Habicht, Polybius, The Histories. Vol. III, Books 5-8 (revised 2nd edition). Loeb classical library, 138.
  • 2012.03.52:  Nick Fisher, Hans van Wees, Competition in the Ancient World.
  • 2012.03.51:  Eva Mira Grob, Documentary Arabic Private and Business Letters on Papyrus: Form and Function, Content and Context. Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, Beiheft 29.

Suspect Sarcophagus via Switzerland

Brief item from the Art Media Agency:

Turkey is claiming ownership of a sarcophagus discovered at the end of 2010 in Geneva free port during an inventory check conducted by Swiss customs officials.

The Journal des Arts stated that since the Swiss law on customs was reinforced in 2009 – following the discovery of 200 ancient Egyptian pieces in 2003 and the updated trafficking of diamonds through Geneva free port in 2005 -, port authorities must maintain detailed inventories of deposited goods. This explains why authorities at Geneva free port used by the Geneva gallery Phoenix Ancient Art were searched and how Swiss customs discovered a Roman sarcophagus dating from the second century BC. An investigation began in the summer of 2011.

Customs sequestered the sarcophagus and transferred the file to the public ministry of Geneva. Turkey is demanding its return. Their argument is clear: the excavation made near the southern Turkish province of Antalya was done illegally – which is what the investigation seems to have confirmed.

… no photos, alas, but David Gill has some additional coverage including video: Turkey pursues sarcophagus at Geneva Freeport

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  …