Apollo statue from Pompeii to go on display at Getty Villa

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The city of Pompeii -- devastated by Vesuvius in AD 79 -- remains one of the top tourist attractions in the world. In March, a statue of the god Apollo recovered from the ancient Roman site will go on display at the Getty Villa in a special exhibition scheduled to run through September.

The Getty said that the bronze statue of Apollo Saettante (Apollo as an Archer) from Pompeii will go on view from March 2 to Sept. 12 in an exhibition called ‘Apollo From Pompeii: Investigating an Ancient Bronze.’

The Apollo Saettante arrived in Los Angeles on loan for study and conservation treatment in 2009, as part of a collaboration with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples. The statue stands slightly less than 5 feet tall.

The partnership is the result of an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Getty Museum that was made in 2007. The Apollo statue arrived together with the Statue of an Ephebe (Youth) as a Lampbearer, which is currently on view in the Basilica at the Getty Villa.


‘Apollo From Pompeii’ will present the results of the museum’s investigations into the statue and will feature an interactive touch-screen display, a version of which also will be available online. The Getty said it used a variety of methods -- including X-radiography (pictured below) and ultraviolet photography -- to study the statue. The museum said it discovered a large void in the statue’s back, indicating that the method of its ancient manufacture was ‘highly unusual.’

The bronze statue was originally located in the Temple of Apollo in Pompeii and dates from about 100 BC, according to the Getty. The majority of the figure was unearthed in pieces in 1817, and a year later, soldiers uncovered the statue’s still-missing parts. Pompeii has been in the news in recent weeks following the collapse of certain structures at the ancient city, prompting an investigation into how the site is managed.

-- David Ng

Photo (top): The Apollo Saettante from Pompeii. Credit: Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei

Photo (bottom): A 2009 X-ray of the Apollo Saettante statue. Credit: Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei


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