Famed Roman Capitoline Wolf statue "not ancient"

I first saw the Capitoline Wolf in person just last year at the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

The statue you see today is supposed to commemorate the suckling of Remus and Rome's legendary founder Romulus when they'd been abandoned as babies. Ancient Roman authors Cicero and Pliny the Elder had described such a statue as standing in the Roman Forum back in the first century B.C., and nearly everyone had always assumed this statue was it.

Turns out however that it wasn't. The announcement was just made this week that the statue is neither Roman nor Etruscan, that is, the people who had dominated central Italy before the Romans. Rather, it's over a millennium younger! Carbon dating and other tests (particularly that of dirt that remains in the belly of the wolf) recently have made the controversial discovery that the statue's creation during the Middle Ages, sometime in the thirteenth century A.D.

What unfortunately confirms a lot of stereotypes about the Italian government however is that this very important art discovery was confirmed nine months ago, and Rome's municipal government reserved the right to make the findings public but they only got around to announcing it last week. *sigh*

For more, you can go to BBC NEWS Europe: Famed Roman statue 'not ancient'. The original article in which the news was originally released last Tuesday is here.

P.S. The babies are even younger... It's been well-known that they were added to the presumed ancient statue a couple of centuries later during the Renaissance!

No comments: