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AEGEAN ISLANDS

Afrodite of Milos

The famous statue was created in the late 2nd century BC, probably by an Asia Minor sculptor, and it is part of the movement for the revival of​​ classical art’s values in the late Hellenistic era. It is one of the most well-known ancient Greek sculptures around the world and it owes its name to the island where it was discovered. Today it constitutes one of the most important exhibits at the Louvre. Afrodite of Milos was discovered on 8 April 1820 by a villager at a space which was identified to the ancient Gymnasium of Milos. The officer of the French navy, O. Voutier, happened to be nearby and he realized that it was a high value work thus he contacted the French consul in Milos. The news reached the French ambassador in the Sublime Porte, Marquis de Rivière, who bought the work, even under the pressure of a French warship in Milos. The statue was offered to king Louis XVIII, who donated it to the Louvre.

The marble statue is 2.11m high and it weighs about 900kg. It represents a young female figure. Her torso is naked and a garment covers her hips and legs. The torso is bent and twisted, giving the impression of movement, despite the static nature of the statue. The identification of the work to Afrodite is based on its iconographic resemblance to the surely recognized representations of the goddess and, although it is by far the most possible, it cannot be considered absolutely certain.

A plaster copy of Venus is located at the entrance of Milos’s Archaeological Museum, while the location where the statue was found is commemorated by a marble inscription.

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