Emperor Adrian turned to be headless

Statue of Emperor Adrian. VI. Marble. Height 4, 5 m. The British Museum, England

The torso of the statue of the Roman Emperor Adrian being stored in the British Museum turned to be unauthentic. The restorer of the museum Tracey Sweek found out that the head of the statue which authenticity does not raise any doubts was attached to the torso created in the XIX century. Chip formed on a neck of the sculpture was carefully disguised by a plaster mix. The important discovery by the art critics was made on the eve of the exhibition devoted to Emperor Adrian and the epoch of his reign in the Roman Empire. In the course of the preparation for the exhibition Sweek couldn’t help from noticing that the size of the head of Adrian did not correspond to the size of his torso. After careful examination it was found out also that sculpture’s hands also were attached to the statue later.

Emperor Adrian reigned in 117 – 138 A.D. He used to be represented usually in a tunic or naked as a God of war. The emperor became famous not only as the conqueror of many peoples but also as the scientist and the connoisseur of the Greek culture, the constructor of temples and libraries. The statue from the British Museum was considered the unique image of Adrian personifying his humanitarian orientation. In connection with Emperor’s famous keenness on all Greek the torso in clothes of this culture was attached to the head of Adrian.

The statue was found in 1861 by British officers who dug out ruins of the temple of Apollo in Cyrene on the territory of modern Libya.

According to the curator of the exhibition Torsten Otter the exhibition devoted to Adrian will show the real nature of the emperor who according to Otter was not an absolutely positive person. «Sculpture destruction helped us to understand that the figure of Adrian can be revised» Otter noted.

Published in: on July 2, 2008 at 6:56 am  Leave a Comment  

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