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The magnificent bronze statue known as the “Antikythera Youth” is one of the masterpieces of the Archeological museum of Athens. It shared the fate of other bronze statues, and was recovered in 1900 from the seas around the little island of Antikythera, from the wreck of a Roman ship that was taking it to Italy along with other bronze and marble sculptures.

The work is attributed to Euphranor, and dates to around 335 BC. The statue is 196 cm tall, and was found in numerous pieces, definitively put back together in 1953.

The youth was clearly holding something in his hand, but since we do not know what, it is not possible to name the hero depicted. Various interpretations have been ventured, with some suggesting it may be Perseus, who slayed the fearsome Gorgon Medusa, holding her head crawling with snakes as a trophy; others believe the statue represents the famous myth of Paris, deemed the most handsome of men, immortalized while handing the apple of discord to Aphrodite. In both cases, however, a number of classic features of the hero figure are missing. It has also been suggested the youth may be an athlete showing off a prize.


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