Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Arms of Venus de Milo Found in Greek Field

Broken sections of a marble statue were discovered on the Aegean island of Melos by Kostas Ephialtes a farmer plowing his wheat field. The five distinct pieces form two arms, with the right holding a shield; the other holds a mirror. The farmer immediately contacted authorities, astounded by what he was sure he had found: the arms of the famous Venus de Milo. After a preliminary examination, experts are all but certain that the arm fragments match.

The Venus de Milo was sculpted in the 2nd Century BC as a depiction of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. She was lost to the world for centuries before she was unearthed and became possibly the most famous statue in the world.

The main body of the statue was discovered by another farmer on Melos, named Yorgos. It was 1820, and at that time, the island was under Turkish occupation. He found the statue and decided that her beauty was too great to give to the authorities, as was the law, so he hid her in his barn.

Soon the authorities discovered his secret, and the Aphrodite of Melos was loaded onto a Turkish boat for shipping back to Turkey. However a French sailor, Jules Dumont d'Urville, secured her purchase and she was loaded onto a frigate for transporting to France.

After a bit of restoring, she was presented to King Louis XVIII in 1821. He donated her to the Louvre Museum in Paris where she has lived ever since.

Several years ago I heard a story similar to this one broadcast on NPR as part of the regular top-of-the-hour news; the only time I know Corey Flintoff lied to us. I was thrilled at the discovery! I don't know how long before I realized it was an April Fools hoax. I get a couple people with this one just about every year. Did I get you? Did you happen to hear it when NPR broadcast it?

This was my attempt to reconstruct the NPR news item, because I couldn't find the original text on-line.

April Fools!

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