Milos Island, Greece

Venus de Milo on display at the  LouvreHere is an interesting bit of history regarding the island that we are currently visiting.

Aphrodite of Milos, better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created sometime between 130 and 100 BCE, it is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Venus to the Romans)

Though it is probably one of the best-known pieces of ancient Greek sculpture, reproduced thousands of times in history and art history books, its source and the island it comes from are little known.

The statue was found on April 8, 1820 by a farmer collecting old Greek stones for field walls.  He removed the top half, (the statue is carved from two pieces of marble) and negotiated to sell it to the French consul who took it to his house for safekeeping.

The French ship sent to collect it arrived to find that the Sultan’s governor had forcibly taken the statue and put aboard a ship bound for Istanbul.  Captain de Marcellus decided to retake the statue and landed an armed party which, after a brief skirmish, got it back and aboard the French ship. The sculpture was subsequently presented to Louis XVIII (who then donated it to the Louvre in 1821).

It is said that it was during this skirmish that the Venus de Milo lost her arms which were spirited away by a local.  Despite reports of the arms being rediscovered at various times, the Venus still hasn’t acquired them and probably shouldn’t lest it change our accepted perception of the armless beauty art historians are so familiar with.

PS.  It looks like we will be here for a bit.  25-30 knot Northerlies are forecast for the next three days.  

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