Every year, 10 million visitors come to admire the Venus de Milo at the Louvre Museum. Where exactly does this work come from ?

A fortuitous find

The Venus de Milo is a marble statue of the goddess Aphrodite. She was bought, already without her arms, on the Greek island of Milos in 1820. She is exhibited in the Louvre Museum and attracts many visitors every year. The Venus de Milo originated in the cities of the Cyclades, Greece. There, we only dream of his return. The Venus de Milo was the totally fortuitous find of a Greek peasant in 1820. While working the soil in his garden on the small island of Milos, this man comes across two blocks of marble. So he unearths what turns out to be pieces that make up the statue. We find on one side the bust with the head and on the other the legs. The arms of the Venus de Milo are already missing. . The sculpture, which is more than two meters high and dates from the years 120-80 BC, then experienced an eventful fate.

Offered to the king, Louis XVIII

At the time of discovery, a French Navy ship happened to be calling at Mélos. Among the crew is Olivier Voutier, a young cadet… But who, above all, is passionate about archaeology! Voutier arranges to notify the consular authorities; and this is how France becomes the purchaser of the statue. Our Venus is sent to Paris, offered to the king, Louis XVIII who, in turn, donates it to the Louvre The Venus de Milo then arrives very quickly at the Louvre. From the year 1821, it is a question of presenting it to the public. At the time, it was unthinkable to expose a broken monument. A sculptor is therefore asked to make replacement arms for the statue. Modern arms are then added to the Venus des Milo, for a time only. Determined to respect the original work, the museum ends up removing these prostheses and has since presented this masterpiece without arms. What we know about The Venus de Milo For starters, we don’t know who sculpted the Venus de Milo. We think he is a very talented artist because this creation is a masterpiece of finesse. In its construction, it refers to other statues, which leads us to believe that it is the work of a Greek artist.


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