The Goddess Goes Home

Co-authors Ralph Frammolino and Jason Felch are in central Sicily this week to help locals celebrate the return of the Getty’s statute of Aphrodite. On May 16th we’ll be giving a presentation on Chasing Aphrodite at Kore University, which is sponsoring an academic conference on the goddess. The following day, we’ll be at the Aidone Archaeological Museum for the inaugurationof the exhibition celebrating the return of the goddess.

The view of Mt Etna from the ruins of Morgantina, in the center of Sicily. As in ancient times, the region is considered the bread basket of Europe, known for its fertile volcanic soil.

The Getty’s looted goddess will now live in a 17th century Capuchin monastery that is home to other objects found in the nearby ruins of Morgantina, an ancient Greek settlement.

The museum is now home to several other masterpieces of ancient art that once resided in American museums: the “Morgantina Silvers” from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and two marble busts representing Demeter and Persephone, which were owned by New York diamond magnate and collector Maurice Tempelsman. Local officials hope these masterpieces will help transform a sleepy village in the heart of Italy’s southern island into a center for archaeological tourism. We anticipate crowds of locals, a brass band or two, tears, wine and laughter as Sicily celebrates the return of its long lost goddess.

We’ll be posting news and pictures from the road. Meanwhile, you can find pictures from our 2007 reporting trip to the region here.

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