Lošinj (Lussino) Island

Bronze Man From Croatia

A group of experts recently presented their evaluation of the bronze statue which was removed from the Adriatic sea-floor several weeks ago near the island of Lošinj. They also suggested measures for its preservation and protection.

Experts gathered in the Croatian Ministry of Culture to discuss the condition and measures that should be taken in order to protect and adequately present the major archeological discovery of an ancient bronze statue of an athlete, which was recently found in the waters off the island of Lošinj. The statue has been dubbed the "Bronze Man" of Croatia.

It is highly probable that the statue depicts the athlete Apoxyomenos rubbing off oil and dust from his body with a scraper. An archeological diving team of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Administration, a part of the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with Croatian Interior Ministry divers, removed the statue from under 44 meters deep sea, where it ended up after a shipwreck. Foreign partners, research sponsors and representatives of Oxford Maritime Limited were also present during this complicated operation.

"Since this is the first time that such a conservatory operation is taking place in Croatia, we formed a commission which will evaluate the condition of the statue and make suggestions for a preservation program," said Miljenko Domijan, the assistant culture minister in charge of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Administration. In addition to local conservationists from the Croatian Restoration Institute and the Ru?er Boškovia Institute, top world experts William Oddy of the British Museum and Giuliano Tordi of the eminent Opificio delle pietre dure restoration institute in Florence were also invited. The final procedure of the conservation (after moving the statue) will take place in the Zadar Archeological Museum, which was placed in charge of the project called "The Statue and the Shipwreck."

The sculpture is believed to be a copy of a Greek original from the fourth century BC. "The research of the maritime location, scheduled for July 1, will be carried out by a Croatian-Belgian-English archeological diving team," said Marijan Orlia, the head of the Archeology Section of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Administration. World-renowned photographers from National Geographic magazine will take be taking photos of the research work.

"When the statue is identified either as an original or a replica, as well as appropriately preserved and presented, Croatia will not only have a major archeological find but also an exceptional tourist attraction," said Biškupia. Leading Italian archeology publications and the television station RAI 3 have already shown great interest in the statue.


Marina Tendjera, Vjesnik, 1999

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Created: Saturday, August 14, 1999; Last Updated: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
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