The Townley Venus, one of the British Museum’s most important Roman sculptures, was damaged when its thumb was knocked off as catering staff were setting up for a corporate event amongst Ancient Greek and Roman statues last December. Although the British Museum’s trustees were informed about the damage, the news was not released to the press or put into the public domain.
The museum said it took the incident “seriously” and the statue had been “fully restored” by expert conservators.
The Townley Venus is a Roman copy of a fourth-century BC Greek sculpture of the half-draped, goddess of love. The London museum’s marble copy, just over two metres tall, dates from the first or second centuries AD. Found in Rome in 1775, it was bought by the distinguished English collector Charles Townley. In 1805 his descendants sold the Venus to the British Museum, where it is now prominently displayed.
[Source: The Art Newspaper]