ONE MILLION EUROS OF DONATIONS FOR A MAKEOVER …

We know her as the Winged Victory of Samothrace or the Nike of Samothrace. She is over 2,000 years old – but who asks a lady her age ever – and she’s rather tall at 2.44 metres (8 feet), but once a woman had to have flesh on her to have been considered a beauty. […]

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Winged Victory of Samothrace

We know her as the Winged Victory of Samothrace or the Nike of Samothrace. She is over 2,000 years old – but who asks a lady her age ever – and she’s rather tall at 2.44 metres (8 feet), but once a woman had to have flesh on her to have been considered a beauty.

She is also headless and there are rather more curves under her robe than a Miss World would wish to display these days.

Mercifully, the lady had no cellulite as we can see from the one voluptuous thigh she is allowing us a glimpse of.

I’ve seen her. In fact, I’ve seen her more than once, and these past couple of years she’s been in a rather worse for wear condition.

I mean the lady needed a make-over badly, but at that age and height a week at a health-farm with a few Botox injections would not have done the trick.

No, her make-over was estimated to cost €4 million.

Her keepers – Paris’ Louvre Museum – therefore made an appeal to the public to help restore her to her former beauty. The Museum could put €3 million towards the make-over – I beg your pardon, the ‘restoration’ – but no more.

Donors therefore had to step in to supply the missing million euros and last August (2013) an appeal was launched, and on Tuesday, September 3, the Louvre’s coffers began to fill with donations.

Yesterday, Monday January 7 (2014), the Louvre announced that it has the needed €1 million, and, as was pledged, this summer the lady will be back standing at the top of the Louvre’s most climbed – and most photographed – stone staircase, the Daru Staircase.

According to the Louvre it had received 6,700 donations.

Of these 25% of the donations had come from businesses with the balance from private people who had donated from  €1 to €8,500 each. The amount donated most often by them was €50, whereas the largest donation from a business was €30,000.

The Louvre had twice before made an appeal from the public to help it restore a work of art.  One was to restore Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Virgin and Child with Saint Anne’ and the other was Cranach’s ‘The Three Graces’.

I must say that such appeals for donors are not always greeted with delight.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace was created around 200-190 BCE in honour of the Greek Goddess, Nike, and a victorious sea battle. Its creator is not known.

How come it is today the property of the Louvre?

It was found in April 1863  on the Greek island of Samothrace by French consul and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau and brought to Paris in 1879. And if you think it was another of Napoléon’s war loot, France was a republic at that time and her president was François Paul Jules Grévy. President Grévy is known as France’s very first real republican president as his predecessors were monarchists who strove to restore the monarchy.

Will I go see the restored statue: you bet I will. I will be there on the day it returns to its pedestal at the top of the Daru Staircase.

Charles Champoiseau,the Frenchman who found the  Winged Victory of Samothrace  and brought it to Paris.

Charles Champoiseau,the Frenchman who found the Winged Victory of Samothrace and brought it to Paris.

 

 

 

The Louvre's Three Graces

The Louvre’s Three Graces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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