History Extra logo
The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed

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
Published: August 1, 2019 at 12:00 pm
Try 6 issues for only £9.99 when you subscribe to BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content