In August 2018, Laura Young was shopping at a Goodwill store in the Austin area when she came across a marble bust weighing about 23 kg.
“I just went there looking for interesting objects. It was a bargain at $35, there’s no reason not to buy the statue,” Young said, adding that she knew she had to own the statue. that’s when you see it for the first time. After the transaction, she knew she had to search to see if the statue had any history to it.
However, even though she thought the statue looked “unusual”, she couldn’t imagine it sedx at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), four years later.
Laura contacted auction houses and experts to inquire about the marble structure of the statue. Finally, the Sotheby’s Corporation confirmed that the bust was in fact from Ancient Rome, which they estimated was about 2,000 years old.
An expert was able to trace the bust on a digital database and found photographs from the 1930s of the head in Aschaffenburg in Bavaria, Germany.
Lynley McAlpine, a postdoctoral curator at SAMA, told CNN It is believed that this is a bust of Sextus Pompey, a Roman military leader. His father, Pompey the Great, was an ally of Julius Caesar.
The bust is housed in a replica of a house in Pompeii, also known as Pompejanum, made by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. There it was on display until the Second World War, which was the last time it was seen until Laura Young bought it in 2018.
The bust, along with other artifacts from the house, was moved into storage before Pompejanum was bombed and destroyed during the war.
“It looks like someone found it and took it from when it was put in storage until around 1950,” McAlpine said. Since it appeared in the US, it seems likely that some Americans stationed there had a hand. on that mission.”
Laura Young said she tried to find someone to donate the statue to Goodwill through Craigslist but had no luck. “I would really like to find out the story behind the person who donated this statue to Goodwill,” said Laura Young.
The work is currently on loan to SAMA on a one-year contract, but McAlpine explained that it remains in German possession because it was plundered from the archives.
Laura Young is proud to see her unique work on display so others can learn its history, but after May 2023 the bust will be sent back to Germany, where it will be on display. back, again, at Pompejanum.
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