Venus de MiloLook
The sculptor is unknown and the date of her carving is only surmised but she is one of the most famous ladies in the world. Her graceful body symbolizes an ideal of beauty that many long for but none attain. The French named her Venus de Milo. In 1820 a peasant named Yorgos found her broken body in an underground cavern on the Aegean island of Melos. He knew that such treasures of antiquity were to be turned over to the Turkish authorities but for a time he hid her lovely beauty in his barn. The secret was disclosed and the officials took her from him and loaded her onto a Turkish vessel. Somehow she was transferred to a French frigate off the coast of Melos; the Turkish official was publicly whipped, the French said it was a legitimate purchase, and she who was destined to become famous sailed away to France. After the statue had been presented to King Louis XVIII, his art advisors sought the assistance of French sculptors in supplying the missing arms. They devised arms which held apples, garments, lamps, and arms that held nothing at all but pointed in various directions. Finally the king decreed that her marvelous beauty should not be marred by any other sculptor. It was a momentous decree which from that time on resulted in ancient statues being left practically as they had been found.
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