Statue bought at GoodWill for $34.99 is an ancient Roman artifact

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Ancient Roman bust bought astatine Goodwill for $34.99

Ancient Roman bust bought astatine Goodwill for $34.99 01:25

An past Roman bust that went connected show astatine a depository successful San Antonio, Texas this week has a peculiar backstory: In 2018, the bust was bought astatine a Goodwill store successful Austin, Texas. The buyer, Laura Young, was buying for objects to resell and had nary hint she picked up an artifact dating from the archetypal period BC oregon AD.

The bust erstwhile resided wrong a full-scale exemplary of a location from Pompeii successful Aschaffenburg, Germany, according to the San Antonio Museum of Art. The display, known arsenic Pompejanum, was built by Ludwig I of Bavaria, and during World War II it was severely damaged by Allied bombers.

screen-shot-2022-05-05-at-12-14-41-pm.png The bust sat successful a show called Pompejanum, which was built by Ludwig I of Bavaria, and during World War II, severely damaged by allied bombers. The bust disappeared aft that. SAMA

The sculpture had mysteriously disappeared aft Aschaffenburg was targeted. The U.S. subject remained successful the country until the extremity of the Cold War and it is believed an American worker had the bust and brought it backmost to Texas, the depository says.

Apparently, Texas is wherever it stayed for decades, until Young unknowingly bought it.

Young picked up the past Roman bust for conscionable $34.99, she told The Art Newspaper. The sculpture is believed to picture past Roman commandant Drusus Germanicus, the insubstantial says.

An representation of the bust aft Young bought it shows it buckled into the spot of her car, a yellowish terms tag stuck to its cheek. 

roman-bust-seatbelt.jpg The bust had erstwhile resided wrong a full-scale exemplary of a location from Pompeii successful Aschaffenburg, Germany. Somehow, it ended up astatine Goodwill successful Texas – and sold for conscionable $34.99.  SAMA

After noticing however aged and worn it looked, Young was funny astir its origin, the depository said successful a quality release. She embarked connected a yearslong journey, talking to experts successful the classics and creation past departments astatine the University of Texas astatine Austin. She besides called auction houses crossed the U.S.

Ultimately, Sotheby's advisor Jörg Deterling identified the bust and connected Young with German authorities. 

"There were a fewer months of aggravated excitement aft that, but it was bittersweet since I knew I couldn't support oregon merchantability the (bust)," Young said. "Either way, I'm gladsome I got to beryllium a tiny portion of (its) agelong and analyzable history, and helium looked large successful the location portion I had him."

roman-bust-laura.jpg Laura Young poses with the bust she bought successful 2018. The Roman artifact volition beryllium connected show astatine SAMA for astir a year, starting May 4, 2022. SAMA

The enactment of creation volition beryllium connected show astatine the depository until May 2023, past it volition beryllium returned to its rightful home, the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces successful Germany. 

"It's a large communicative whose crippled includes the World War II-era, planetary diplomacy, creation of the past Mediterranean, thrift store sleuthing, historical Bavarian royalty, and the thoughtful stewardship of those who attraction for and sphere the arts, whether arsenic individuals oregon institutions," said Emily Ballew Neff, who is the Kelso manager astatine the depository and holds a doctorate successful creation history. 

Caitlin O'Kane


Caitlin O'Kane is simply a integer contented shaper covering trending stories for CBS News and its bully quality brand, The Uplift.

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