The statue of Venus de Milo is considered the pearl of ancient Greek art. This work of art belongs to the "Bashful Venus" type, which is characterized by the image of a half-naked goddess, who is holding a falling robe. Many wanted to get hold of this masterpiece, there are many secrets associated with it. Where is this mysterious statue now stored?
Initially, Praxitel was considered the creator of Venus de Milo, who was the first to sculpt a sculpture of the "Shy Venus" type. However, this master lived in the 4th century BC, and a number of features, such as an elongated rotated torso and a small chest, are characteristic of a later period - the end of the 2nd, beginning of the 1st century BC. The identity of the sculpture has not been clarified for certain, but it is considered to be the author of the Milian goddess Alexandros (Agesander) of Antioch. It was this name that was indicated on the statue's pedestal, which was lost later.
The hidden sculpture and the greedy peasant
Once an accidental find of a peasant from Greece on the island of Milos turned out to be a statue of a goddess. According to researchers, she spent about 2 millennia in captivity of the earth, it was obvious that in order to prevent the destruction of the statue, it was reliably hidden from danger.
Similar security measures had to be repeated 50 years later. In 1870, Venus de Milo was again imprisoned in underground captivity - the cellar of the police building in Paris. The approach of the Germans to the capital forced to take such measures, soon the police prefecture burned to the ground, and the statue, thanks to the vigilance of the art workers, remained intact.
But before that, she spent quite a long time in the goat pen, where a Greek peasant, eager for profit, hid her. It was here that the ancient goddess was noticed by an officer of the French army - Dumont-Durville. As an educated person, he could not help but appreciate the masterpiece, which clearly retained its original appearance almost completely. The Frenchman undoubtedly recognized the goddess of love and beauty. On top of that, there are many references to Venus holding an apple from Paris.
The volumes of the Milian goddess are practically suitable for modern beauty parameters 90-60-90. The shape of the statue is 86-69-93 with a height of 164 cm.
For his discovery, the peasant demanded an unrealistic amount, which the officer did not have. However, with the help of diplomacy and persuasion, Dumont-Durville agreed that he would not sell the sculpture to anyone until he returned with the money. Explaining the value of the true masterpiece to the consul in Constantinople, the officer got him to help in purchasing sculpture for the Museum of France.
Naval battle for Venus de Milo
With good news, Dumont-Durville rushed to Milos, but then disappointment awaited him. The greedy peasant had already sold the statue to the Turks, the deal was closed, and the antique was packed. However, nevertheless, Dumont's persuasions, complete with an exorbitant amount, did their job. The packed statue was secretly loaded onto a French ship.
The Turks discovered the loss and did not agree to part with the valuable find just like that. As a result, there was a small battle between a French and a Turkish ship for the right to possess the sculpture of the goddess. Many believe that it was in this confrontation that the hands of Venus were lost. Until now, nothing is known about their whereabouts.
More than 6 million people come to the Louvre every year to see the armless goddess. Moreover, 20% of this number do not visit other halls and expositions.
Pearl of the Louvre
Aphrodite of Milo still remained in the hands of the French. In 1821, the sculpture was designated by the French ambassador to the Louvre. Now Venus is considered one of the main exhibits of the museum and is located in a separate room. Despite the cracks and the absence of hands, the ancient goddess appears before the visitors of the Louvre as a true ideal of beauty.