Venus of Milos

One of the most famous ancient Greek statues was discovered on the Greek island of Milos at the beginning of the 19th century. This statue is called Venus (Aphrodite) of Milos. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. The statue depicts a woman with a young, energetic body, smooth contours, and a twisting torso. She has a long drapery wrapped around her waist, which is styled in a way that can create a play of light and shadow. Her face and her expression are supposed to show her god-like beauty. Her hair is tied.

This statue was made of fine Parian marble and is 2m tall. Both its arms have been cut and his creator is unknown. It was originally believed that Praxiteles was the sculptor but scientists say that it was created in the Hellenistic Era, not the Classical Times. This statue is believed to have been created somewhere between 130 and 90 BC. It is considered to be a mixture of various styles from the Classical period of ancient Greek art. Its grace reminds the great statues of ancient Athens, which influenced every form of art.

This great statue was found in Milos in 1820 by a peasant named Georgios Kentrotas. As he wasn't aware of its historical importance, he decided to keep it on his farm. At that time there was a French sailor named Jules Dumont d'Urville on the island. He saw it and immediately understood the importance of this discovery. So he arranged through the French ambassador to Turkey at that time to have the French government purchase the statue.

The purchase nearly did not happen. The message took a long time to get to the French ambassador. The peasant was getting restless and was being strongly encouraged to sell the statue to a priest at a local church. The priest wanted to give the statue to an interpreter for the Sultan in Constantinople. When a representative from the French did finally arrive, the statue was being put on a ship going to Istanbul. He persuaded the leaders of the island to stop the sale and accept the offer from France. The translator was not too pleased with the turn of events but the statue finally arrived at the Museum of Louvre.

However, during the transportation or the argument, the hands were cut off the statue and lost. It is believed that the right hand was lifting the drapery and the left hand was holding an apple (the apple was a symbol of beauty for the ancient Greeks).

This statue is one of the most famous works of ancient Greek art and is often used as the symbol of Milos. The original statue is kept today in Louvre but there is a replica of this statue in the Archaeological Museum of Milos.