Statue of Aphrodite in Santorini
When you are in Greece and you feel like you’ve soaked in all the sun you can, ate more food than you thought possible, and enjoyed the sunsets on every single island in the romantic Aegean, there’s still one thing you can do – get cultured! And what other place is better for it than the home of the most influential of ancient civilizations? Archaeological remains, historic sites, and countless museums containing the work of Ancient Greek artists are waiting for you in Hellas.
But did you know that an enormous part of Greek art and sculptures is being displayed outside Greece? Aphrodite (aka Venus de Milo), Laocoön and His Sons, and The Winged Victory (Nike) of Samothrace are just a few of the Greek statues that found their new homes in France, Vatican, and Italy.
But you don’t have to visit the Louvre to admire the beauty of Aphrodite. Right here, in Santorini, we have our own little version of the famous sculpture! With caldera and the volcano in the background, it welcomes visitors to Fira, the capital town of Santorini. And it almost never says “no” if you ask to take a selfie! Apart from being made out of clay and measuring over a foot shorter, it is an exact replica of the statue of the Greek goddess of love and beauty. And you don’t need to spend 2 hours waiting in line to get into the famous French museum!
The original Aphrodite statue dates back to ca. 125 BC and it was discovered in 1820 on the island of Milos by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas. It’s famously missing both arms, the exact reason for that being unknown. Some say the fragment of the arm and a hand rediscovered with the statue were discarded during reassembly for having a “rougher” appearance. Without arms, it is unclear what the statue originally looked like. Some suggest Venus was spinning yarn, others speculate she might have been holding an apple. Perhaps, just like Mona Lisa’s smile, it will have to remain a mystery.
Blog post by Anna, photographer on the island of Thira (Santorini)