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Venus de Milo


Venus de Milo sculpture
Photo: US Government Printing Office (http://www.access.gpo.gov)

Venus de Milo, an ancient sculpture symbolizing an ideal of female beauty now on display at the Louvre in Paris, France. It is famous for the missing arms, presumably broken off prior to its discovery in a cave. The name of the sculptor and the year it was sculpted are a mystery.

In 1820 the sculpture was found on the Aegean island of Melos by a peasant named Yorgos. He hid it from the authorities but was later discovered by Turkish officials, who seized the sculpture. A French naval officer, Jules Dumont d'Urville recognized its significance and arranged for France to purchase it. The statue was presented to King Louis XVIII, who entertained the notion of "fixing" the sculpture by adding the arms, but later decreed that no one should disturb its natural beauty.



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