Diving out into open water can be both exciting and dangerous all at the same time. Stefano Mariottini, a chemist on vacation in Calabria, Italy, decided to dive in the waters. Stefano Mariottini, a chemist on vacation in Calabria, Italy. As he was swimming through the water he came across a discovery that shocked him for the rest of his life.
20. Scuba Diver
Stefano Mariotti is an amateur scuba diver from Rome. Mariottini happens to be a chemist, however, he loves to dive as a hobby. There’s just something about exploring uncharted underwater territory that Mariottini just loves to participate in!
19. Italy’s Capital
Rome is the capital of Italy and is filled with a longstanding and rich culture. It is home to around 2.9 million people and its history stretches back as far as the founding of Rome at 753 BC. However, many historians argue that the area was inhabited much earlier.
18. Lots of Diving
Since Italy is surrounded by water, diving is quite a popular hobby that many undertake. Some of the most popular places to dive from include the Islands that make up the country. This includes Sardinia and the Tuscany Archipelago that includes Elba Island. There is a lot to explore around the waters surrounding these islands.
17. Diving Through
Around 40 years ago, on the morning of August 16 1972, Stefano Mariottini decided to go on a diving trip. He was making his way through the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea a few hundred yards off the coast of Calabria when he came across a discovery that would change his life forever. Mariottini saw something in the water that looked like a human arm.
The waters that Mariottini was diving in happened to be right across fro Sicily. Sicily happens to have a lot of Mafia connections and so Mariottini immediately thought the worst. He figured that whatever he just discovered was the work of the Mafia.
15. Bigger Discovery
However, there was luckily no need to fret too much over this discovery. As Mariottini swam closer he came across another amazing discovery. There was a huge statue lying on its back right next to the arm that he had discovered.
14. Calling The Police
Mariottini knew that he had to alert the authorities to the discovery that he had just made. So he marked off the location and swam out of the water. Once he alerted the police, Mariottini and the authorities all headed back to the area to see what the Italian had discovered.
13. Fantastic Sculpture
As the divers all went into the water near the marker they were shocked by what they were looking at. They managed to pull out two gorgeous larger than life, nude statues of men! It turned out to be one of the finest examples of mid-fifth-century-BC Greek sculpture.
12. Pulled Out
The statues were pulled out of the deep waters and sent to the National Museum in Reggio Calabria so that they could be cleaned up and inspected. Experts at the national museum came to the conclusion that the statues are an original Greek bronze from the 5th century B.C. Early Classical period.
11. More Examinations
The statues were eventually brought over to Florence so that it could be further examined and restored. As experts began to restore the statue, they came across gorgeous detailing especially in the face. The face had silver eyelashes, copper lips, silver teeth and eyes made of ivory and glass.
10. Most Popular Theory
Currently, the most popular theory surrounding these statues is that two separate Greek artists created the bronzes about 30 years apart. They believe that “Statue A” was probably created between the years 460 and 450 BC, and “Statue B” between 430 and 420 BC. This means that they were created in the 5th century B.C. making them really old!
9. Warrior Poses
Another popular theory regarding the statues is that they were probably created holding some sort of weapon. This had led experts to believe that the statues were made to resemble warriors. The status with parted lips, silver teeth and long, flowing curls has been called Riace A. The other status is known as Riace B.
8. Major Differences
Although the status look quite similar there are some subtle differences between the two of them. Statue A seems to portray a younger warrior hero or god with a proud look and he seems to be aware of his beauty. On the other hand, Statue B represents an older hero with a more relaxed pose.
7. Dozens of Theories
There are dozens of theories surrounding these two statues. One of the other popular ones is that they are Tydeus and Amphiaraus, two warriors enlisted by Polynices to attack Thebes in Aeschylus’ Seven against Thebes. Many experts have pushed this theory, however, there is no real way to substantiate it.
Restoration of the statues was finally completed in 1980 and finally the statues were loaned out to Florence and Rome so that they could be put on display. After their tour around Italy, the statues were eventually placed in their permanent residence in the Museo Nazionale in Reggio Calabria.
5. Star Exhibits
The two statues immediately became the star exhibits of the museum. The Museo Nazionale in Reggio Calabria wasn’t visited too often, however, with their new exhibit that quickly changed. People from all across the world were flying in to marvel at this ancient artwork.
4. Many Years
The two statues remained at the museum for many many years. People from all over the world were in awe at what the statues represented. Eventually, the statues were in need of some more restoration in order to keep that in fine shape.
3. More Restoration
Finally in 2009, the Riace Bronzes were transported to the Palazzo Campanella so that they could be prepared for further restoration. In early 2010, restoration experts Cosimo (Nuccio) Schepis and Paola Donati began to work on the two statues. They were eventually completed in 2011.
2. Still A Mystery
There is also another great mystery surrounding how the two statues actually ended up lying in the sea together. Many experts have argued the theory that the two statues were lost in transportation during a bad storm at sea. However, this is still only a theory and will never be proven.
1. Amazing Day
It was an amazing day when Mariottini made his discovery! Now these two fine statues are available for all to look at and admire!