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Notes on the Apollo statuette Kunsthistorisches Museum

January 30, 2016


ANSA_VI_2848_08Recently in an article, I highlighted the severe damages made by the railway builders in 1867 in Apulum (Alba Iulia). Similar destruction happened in numerous other archaeological sites of the Austro-Hungarian Empire too (in Brigetio, for example).

Gooss mentioned in 1870, that many of the most spectacular finds disappeared shortly after the railway was finished (3 from the 4 silver vessels were melted and a beautiful bronze Venus statuette get lost too).

Based on Paul Zanker‘s seminal work, Alexandru Diaconescu analysed in his new book from 2013 (Clasicismul in plastica minora din Dacia romana, Mega, Cluj, 2013 – Classicism in minor arts of Roman Dacia) the famous Apollo statuette from the Kunsthistorisches Museum (photo). Zanker claimed, that the statuette was found in Dacia (p. 91-92.) while Diaconescu mentions (p.50.) that Günter Dembski verbally confirmed, that the statuette was donated by a railway engineer in the 19th century. This could indicate, that one of the finest bronze statuettes ever found in Dacia comes from Apulum (see also: Teposu-Marinescu-Pop 2000, 34-36, fig. 15.)

Further investigations will help us to solve this mystery.

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