50 years ago, a miraculous discovery made the small Calabrian town of Riace famous
In 1972, an Italian tourist was scuba diving off the Calabrian coast near Riace's marina.
At a certain point, he swam accidentally upon two slightly larger than life-size statues.
These statues, lying at a depth of just 26 ft, had been buried for thousands of years in the sea.
The discovery of the Riace Bronzes
The bronze pair, called Riace Bronzes were most likely sculpted in Greece in the mid-5th century BCE.
They are considered masterpieces of Classical Greek sculpture.
Further investigation of the site revealed additional artefacts such as 28 lead rings, a fragment of a ship's keel containing two bronze linchpins.
Furthermore, a fragment of the handles of one of the figure's shield was found.
These discoveries likely belong to the Roman period or later.
The statues might have sunk while the wreckage from the light ship in which they would have been transported was dispersed by the sea.
The restoration of the Riace Bronzes
The two bronzes underwent an amazing restoration in Florence after their discovery.
The process took five years.
In addition, the statues were restored again in 1992-5 and 2009.
The figures are now permanently standing in a climatically-controlled room at the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria.
50 years after the discovery
In August this year, Calabria has marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the two world-famous ancient Greek warrior statues.
According to Calabrian Governor Roberto Occhiuto, "They are unique works of art and a symbol of Calabria,"
A marathon of events took place during the month of August to celebrate the discovery, but also to promote the region of Calabria.
The two statues recently became candidates to become part of UNESCO's heritage.
They have become a symbol of our beautiful region Calabria and the Mediterranean.
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