The "Doriphorus of Stabia" remains in Minneapolis, but only for now

Feb 25, 2024 1116

The return by the United States of the statue of the 'Doriphorus of Stabia' has become a court case. Smuggled clandestinely, the finest copy of the original by Polyclitus, it is on display at a Minneapolis museum. A lengthy court case ordered its international rogatory, but U.S. authorities to date have done nothing.

The statue remains there and no one responds to repeated reminders from the Torre Annunziata that sent the immediate confiscation order, but also by the Ministry of Culture and several diplomatic attempts. An indifference to three international treaties entered into between Italy and the United States for the safeguarding of cultural heritage, which has led Italy to deny the Minneapolis museum future cooperation until the statue is returned to Italy.

The Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Torre Annunziata, Nunzio Fragliasso, together with the director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, have jointly appealed for continued widespread discussion of this affair, believing that only an uplift of national public opinion could unblock the situation.

"The Ministry of Culture is working. But the success of an international rogatory also depends on diplomatic relations. So it is necessary to talk about it," Fragliasso said. "If the institutions of a state realize that a work of art, an archaeological artifact of exceptional value belongs to another state that claims ownership, even judicially, the return of it, it should do everything to make it happen. So far, two years have already passed."

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