We made a quick trip to Reggio di Calabria to do interviews and attend church with the small branch there. The Assistants accompanied us. The National Museum that houses two of the most famous bronze statues in the world was just across the street.
Forty years ago, on the morning of August 16 1972, Stefano Mariottini, a chemist from Rome on a scuba-diving holiday, was gliding through the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea a few hundred yards off the coast of Calabria when he was startled to see, thrusting from the sea floor below him, what looked like a human arm. The deep south of Italy is just across the water from Sicily with its Mafia connections, and as signor Mariottini swam closer, he feared at first that he might have come upon the remains of a corpse.
But no police were to be involved here: what was cautiously dredged from beneath the calm blue surface and borne ashore to the village of Riace, proved to be a pair of statues, larger than life-size, nude and flamboyantly male, two of the finest examples of mid-fifth-century-BC Greek sculpture to be found anywhere in the world. Wrapped in the soft Calabrian sand, the Riace bronzes had slept on the seabed for 2,500 years.
The second Riace warrior with a helmet (Bronze B or Statue B). Possibly a Corinthian.(430-420)BC
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|Also housed in the museum are artifacts that are over 2000 years old.|