Riace Bronzes Back from Vacation Soon

Apparently that video of the Riace Bronzes going on vacation last year (The Riace Bronzes Go On Vacation) was in anticipation of them getting some restoration work (perhaps the earthquake stuff mentioned here). Whatever the case, they’re going to be back on display “later this year’, according to ANSA … an excerpt:

Italy’s iconic Riace Bronzes will return to their home at the Reggio Calabria National Museum later this year after lengthy restoration work.

For almost three years the 2,500-year-old ancient Greek statues representing warriors have been in the Calabrian regional government’s headquarters, undergoing a long-awaited restoration. A host of chemical, laser and electromagnetic tests designed to help experts better understand where the statues came from, and who created them, were also carried out.

So now, it’s almost time for them to return to their permanent home.

According to the superintendent for archaeological and cultural heritage of Calabria, Simonetta Bonomi, restoration work should be completed near the end of the year and the two warriors “will be back home again” in time for Christmas.

The celebrated bronzes were found in August 1972 off the coast of Calabria and quickly captured worldwide attention. They were so highly prized that they are rarely allowed to travel from their home, despite repeated requests.

Even former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi was turned down twice after seeking to borrow the statues for Group of Eight summits.

During the current restoration work, the Riace Bronzes, last let out in 1981 for a triumphant round-Italy tour, have been kept inside a purpose-built area with a glass front allowing visitors to watch the delicate restoration work.

Meanwhile, the Reggio Calabria museum has been undergoing restorations itself while the bronzes have been away. Approximately six million euros have been earmarked for that project, and regional authorities have released the final funds need to complete the work before year end.

The Bronzes were discovered in 1972 by a Roman holidaymaker scuba diving off the Calabrian coast and turned out to be one of Italy’s most important archaeological finds in the last 100 years.

The 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 ‘older’ man, known as Riace B, wears a helmet, while the ‘younger’ Riace A has nothing covering his rippling hair. […]

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