An ancient bronze statue of the Greek athlete Apoxyomenos will soon go on display when the Apoxyomenos Museum in Kvarner Palace in Mali Lošinj on the island of Lošinj opens on 30 April 2016…
The statue, dating from the 3rd or 4th century BC, was discovered off the Croatian island of Lošinj in 1996 by a recreational diver. After it was raised from the sea in 1999, it was extensively restored and was first publicly displayed in 2006. Since then it has been exhibited at various locations, including the British Museum in London, the John Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Louvre in Paris. It is the most complete and best preserved among eight known Apoxyomenos statues.
The statue, with red copper-inlaid lips and nipples, represents an “apoxyomenos”, which is an athlete removing the oil and sand from his body. Ancient athletes competed nude and outside; they covered their bodies in oil, which mixed with the sand of the palestra during their competition.
Now the 192-centimetre, 300 kg statute it is returning to Croatia for good with the statue going on display from the end of this month at the Apoxyomenos Museum in the newly restored palace.
Croatia’s Tourism Minister Anton Kliman says that return of the statue and the opening of the museum is a great event for tourism in the country.
“This is good example for other areas that have cultural wealth, which there are plenty of in Croatia, that can be used positively to develop their tourism,” he said.