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 origin or magnogreca or siceliota, datable to the 5th century BC. - found the 16 1972 in August near Riace, in the province of Reggio Calabria. In fact, in that same year, Stefano Mariottini, a young amateur Roman sub, immersed in the Ionian Sea at 300 meters from the coasts of Riace and found the statues of the two warriors at 8 meters deep.
The attention of the diver was attracted by 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 recover the two masterpieces, the Carabinieri of the diving corps used a balloon inflated with the air of the cylinders. On August 21, statue B was recovered, while the next day it touched statue A (which fell back to the bottom once before being taken to safety on 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 provenance and on the authors of the statues are different, but there are no elements that allow to attribute with certainty the works to a specific sculptor, which are almost certainly original works of Greek art of the fifth century BC, and from the moment of discovery they have stimulated scholars in search of the identity of the characters and the authors. Even today, unanimity has not been reached with regard to dating, provenance and even less the architects 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 fierce hero of Etolia, 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