Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Cyrene: two heads from The Three Graces

This group was found at Cyrene, but displayed both in the museum there and in the one in Tripoli. The original theft of the two heads was reported in 1991; one head was returned, then stolen again during the post Ghaddafi Civil War. As of 2016, the head on the right has not been reported missing, and the rest of the statue was moved into storage.

The group is marble, slightly under life size. The date given is 3rd century BC, but this is the date of the original group this Roman sculpture copies. The group had some traces of paint remaining on the surface.

Head A:
Head of Grace to left in the group; wavy hair, drawn into a bun at the back, with a ribbon tied immediately above the forehead and into the bun.

Interpol Folder: 1991/6605-1.6

Head B:
Head of the Grace in the centre of the group; wavy hair drawn up and into a bun on the top of the head.

Interpol Folder: 1991/6605-1.1

Because Head B was found, returned damaged to the museum (the nose broken off), before it was stolen again, more recent images are available of it from various angles. The traces of paint that remain on her hair make this a very distinctive head:

The group whole, before the first theft:

After the return of one head, before it was stolen again:

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