MFA Boston Transfers Antique Marble Head to the Republic of Italy

Apr 30, 2022 257

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has transferred the Late Imperial sculpture Portrait of a Man to the Republic of Italy, from where it is believed to have been stolen during World War II. The marble head dates to the 3rd or 4th century C.E. Its features were re-cut in antiquity from an earlier portrait, and it may represent the emperor Maximianus Herculius.

It was found in December 1931 at Minturno, Italy, during a series of excavations undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania and the Superintendency of Campania in Naples. The head was published, inventoried and illustrated in a catalogue of sculptures from the excavations in 1938. During World War II, a number of archaeological finds and other works of art stored at Minturno were stolen, probably by German troops, or were otherwise dispersed in the upheaval of war.

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