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Ottobre 2006

The Apoxiòmenos

Apoxiòmenos Last Saturday evening the courtyard of Palazzo Medici Riccardi was packed: many people gathered there to admire for the first time the Apoxiòmenos of Losinj (Croatia), a bronze statue supposed to be a copy of one of Lysippus works. The statue’s history is extremely fascinating: the ancient bronze statue Apoxyomenos, the figure of a young athlete (192 cm high), was found by chance in 1996 by a Belgian tourist, Mr René Wouters, under the sea, near Losinj in Croatia, at a depth of approximately 45 m. The statue, after many operations, was brought to the surface on April 27th 1999. The restauration was coordinated by the Sciences Laboratory of Croatian Conservation Institute and the Sciences Laboratory of Opificio della Pietre Dure (Firenze): for the conservation and restoration operations, a team of two experts was chosen: Giuliano Tordi, an Italian restorer who led the conservation and restoration works, and Antonio Serbetic, a specialist restorer and head of the Metal Laboratory of the Croatian Conservation Institute.
TestaApoxyomenos (the “Scraper”) is a statue representing an athlete who is scraping sweat and dust off his body with a small and peculiar instrument that the Romans called “strigil”. Many copies of ancient Greek statues represent this distinctive action. Actually, in ancient Greece before any race or contest athletes used to oil their body and after the competition they had to scrape the layer of oil, sand and sweat off their bodies with the “strigil” (Gr. stlengis, Lat. strigilus). The Croatian Apoxyomenos is an athlete who has just finished his training or his race and he is completely concentrated in cleaning his body.
The statue consists of seven separately cast parts (legs, arms, torso, head and genitals) and the base as you can see in the digitilisation made by the company “Topomatika” from Zagreb in the January 2002.
Now you can see the statue at Palazzo Medici Riccardi until the 27th of January.

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