Palazzo Piacentini, now home of the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria o National Museum of Magna Grecia, is a historic and important body of conservation of Italian culture, in possession of one of the most remarkable collections of finds from the Magna Grecia.
Found in early nineteenth century with the aim of collecting the materials transferred from the city's civic museum, over time it has been enriched with many finds, the result of various excavation campaigns conducted to date by the Archaeological Superintendence of Calabria.
Among the works kept inside, surely the most important are the Bronzi di Riace - two bronze statues of Greek or Magna Graecia or Siceliota origin, datable to 5th century BC. - found on August 16, 1972 near Riace, in the province of Reggio Calabria. In fact, in that year, Stefano Mariottini, a young Roman amateur diver, dived into the Ionian Sea 300 meters from the coast of Riace and found the statues of the two warriors at a depth of 8 meters.
The diver's attention was drawn to the left arm of what would later be called statue A, the only element that emerged from the sand of the bottom. To lift and retrieve the two masterpieces, the Carabinieri of the divers' group used a balloon inflated with the air from the cylinders. On August 21, statue B was recovered, while the next day it was the turn of statue A (which fell to the bottom once before being carried safely to the beach).
Considered among the most significant sculptural masterpieces of Greek art, and among the direct testimonies of the great master sculptors of the classical age, the hypotheses on the origin and on the authors of the statues are different, but there are still no elements that allow us to attribute the works by a specific sculptor, which are almost certainly original works of Greek art from the XNUMXth century BC, and from the moment of discovery have stimulated scholars to search for the identity of the characters and authors. Even today, unanimity has not been reached regarding the dating, the provenance and even less the creators of the two sculptures.
A good hypothesis on the origin and the dating of the two statues could be:
• The Bronze A (the young man) could represent Tideo, a ferocious hero of Aetolia, son of the god Ares and protected by the goddess Athena.
• The Bronze B (the old man) would instead be Anfiarao, the prophet warrior who prophesied his own death under the walls of Thebes.
Both of them in fact participated in the mythical expedition of the city of Argos against that of Thebes, which, as the same Anfiarao had predicted, had a disastrous conclusion.
To signal the Head of Philosopher from Porticello, also this coming from the bottom of the sea.
Curiosity: the 9 September 1981 le Poste Italiane they issue the first stamp depicting the Riace Bronzes.
Address: Piazza Giuseppe De Nava, 26 - 89123 Reggio Calabria
Phone: 0965 898272