A Brawl over Venus de Milos - How she lost her arms

A Brawl over Venus de Milos - How she lost her arm - A Brawl over Venus de Milos - How she lost her arms
@Anniedup (3652)
Richards Bay, South Africa
September 11, 2007 7:12am CST
The discovery of the remains of La PĂ©rouse's two ships was far from the most important find of the Dumont d'Urville's career as a naval explorer. In 1819-20, nearly a decade before his stop at Vanikoro Island, the young officer was serving in a French expedition to the Greek archipelago. Stopping at the island of Melos (or Milo), he chanced upon a statue recently unearthed by a peasant and stored in a great goat pen. The well-educated Dumont d'Urville recognized the female figure as Venus, or Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love; in her hand was the apple given by Paris in judging her the most beautiful among three rival goddesses. Although the price asked by the peasant was too high for him to pay on the spot, Dumont d'Urville recognized the statue's worth. An unknown sculptor of the second century B.C. had created a masterpiece in which the softness of the goddess's exposed torso contrasted with the rich folds of the drapery covering her lower body. The statue had to be acquired for France. He convinced the French ambassador in Constantinople to send with him on his return to Melos a diplomat with a commission to buy the statue. Unfortunately, the peasant had sold it in the meantime to a Turkish official, and the treasure was already packed. After a generous bribe from Dumont d'Urville, the peasant managed to remember that the statue had been presold to the French and could not be delivered to the Turks. The crated Venus was placed on a stretcher and rushed to the beach for loading on Dumont d'Urville ship. Pursuing Turks attacked; and in the ensuing brawl, the statue lost both arms - never to be recovered.
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5 responses
• United States
12 Sep 07
It is possible that the Turks have those arms somewhere. Many times if people can't have something they want, they break it. I see this a lot.
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@Anniedup (3652)
• Richards Bay, South Africa
13 Sep 07
Sooo very true yessie, and there are so many interpretations of this little piece of history that sometimes it just makes me smile:)
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• United States
13 Sep 07
You are right...everyone has an opinion.
11 Sep 07
There are of course, many different versions of the same story. One I got from Wikipedia differs in a few ways. First, it states that a Frenchman called Oliver Voutier was the one to discover the statue and not a Greek peasant. Ten days later, another French Naval officer, Jules Dumont D'Urville saw the statue and recognized its value but his captain refused to take it on board ship citing lack of space even though the peasant offered it at a very cheap price. Later D'Urville showed sketches he'd made of the statue to the French ambassador. But meanwhile the peasant had been pressured into selling the statue to a local priest who planned to present it to a translator working in the court of the sultan of Constantinople. The French ambassador's Representative arrived just as the statue was being loaded onto the ship for Constantinople. He persuaded the island's leaders to annul the sale. But he had to fight Greek Brigands for possession. Upon arrival at the Louvre, the statue was reassembled but the fragments of the left arm were disregarded as they were of rougher workmanship and therefore thought to be later additions. Later it was accepted that they were the original fragments as it was a standard practice among sculptors of the time that less visible parts of the statues would be less well finished. Nor was the sculptor unknown. The statue was originally publicized as the work of master sculptor Praxiteles. Later, when the plinth of the statue was reassembled, an inscription was found attributing the statue as the work of "Alexandros of Antioch".
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11 Sep 07
Here's the link where I got my info... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_de_Milo
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@Anniedup (3652)
• Richards Bay, South Africa
12 Sep 07
Like so many other events of the past there are thousands of different interpretations, about historical events like this, where respected historians are still having a 'brawl' as to where, when and how events played them out, and I kind of liked this one.
@GardenGerty (118061)
• United States
12 Sep 07
I love learning new and interesting things, thanks for posting this. I did not ever feature the Venus losing her arms as being such an active thing. I always figured she was involved in an earthquake and buried under rubble or something like that, and that the arms were crushed.You use very descriptive terms and make the statue come alive.
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@Anniedup (3652)
• Richards Bay, South Africa
13 Sep 07
Who knows my friend maybe it is what happened. :) Like with all enigmas like this one, it keeps her quite 'alive' arms or no arms.
• Saudi Arabia
12 Sep 07
Hi Annie ... Venus di Milos is really amazing I took a pic of it during my last visit to the Louvre museum. I was a few centimeters away from it. Regarding how she lost her arms, I did not have much information but there's so much written about that. A site said Venus lost her arms during a struggle between the french and the turkish soldiers over the statue but then the site said but this story was proven wrong. Actually the site did not elaborate further, nor said anything about how it was proven wrong, therefore it can't be taken for granted. U may visit: http://www.italartworld.com/p-500.htm Very nice topic xxx
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@Anniedup (3652)
• Richards Bay, South Africa
13 Sep 07
One of 'those' again, the speculation and stories will linger on for years to come! I will certainly go and have a look at the site, can only be interesting!
@yanjiaren (9050)
11 Sep 07
Very interesting read. I am enjoying this with my afternoon cup of tea lol. I will lookon the internet for more information about this., Thankyou for shering and I hope to see lots of interesting stories about these subjects. It takes me basck to my childhood days.
@Anniedup (3652)
• Richards Bay, South Africa
12 Sep 07
Oh I see indeed my friend and hopefully with some thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches! lol! You have been stuck in the UK too long this time! :) It makes an interesting read and it is under my hubs Mysteries and Unanswered Questions of the past. The truth be known there wouldn't have been so much controversy about them.