When was the Venus de Milo found?

The ancient Venus de Milo sculpture is commonly thought to represent Aphrodite, though her identity – and lack of arms – still remain a mystery. But when was the marble Venus found? BBC History Revealed explains…

The Venus de Milo sculpture

An unexpected Greco-French excavation on 8 April 1820 recovered the famous marble statue around 2,000 years after she was carved. Yorgos Kentrotas, a farmer on the Aegean island of Milos, unearthed the Venus, but even though she was in two pieces, he needed help.

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Luckily, a young French naval officer named Olivier Voutier was digging the nearby site of an ancient theatre and lent a hand, which is more than the Venus could have done. Voutier’s assistance led to the French buying the statue from the farmer. It was presented to King Louis XVIII, then placed in the Louvre, where it still draws armfuls of visitors every year.

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This article was taken from the August 2019 issue of BBC History Revealed