Boston Museum To Reunite Statue's Top Half With Bottom Half In Turkey
The bottom half of "Weary Herakles," a nearly 2000-year-old sculpture, will be reunited with its top half soon, reports the Boston Globe. The Turkish museum that houses the statue's legs has petitioned for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) to return its top half, and the MFA recently stated that it planned to carry out the repatriation.
In the video below, Geoff Edgers reports on the statue for the Boston Globe, detailing the piece's history as well as his personal experiences with it. He recalls visiting the statue's legs in Turkey, and notes that "There's a giant poster on the wall next to the bottom half saying, you know, 'give us this top half back.'"
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In this case, the statue itself is not especially valuable, but the drama of its double existence is enough to make headlines.
It's not uncommon for classical-era sculptures to be missing limbs or other components, and prominent pieces such as Winged Victory At Samothrace and Venus de Milo have historically met with acclaim, even in their incomplete forms.
Repatriation of artworks has traditionally been a delicate issue, with innuendo about worsening diplomatic relations between countries sometimes entering discussions that would normally address cultural heritage and accessibility. The British Museum is currently resisting two major calls for repatriation, with Greece asking for the return of the Elgin Marbles and Egypt seeking the Rosetta Stone.