Like any foreign traveller at the end of a five week voyage, the Venus de Milo arrived in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday in a slightly damaged condition.
Like any foreign traveller at the end of a five week voyage, the Venus de Milo arrived in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday in a slightly damaged condition. Nothing serious though, and certainly when our cameramen went along to see her installed at the Tokyo Museum of Western Art, the Greek beauty looked none the worse for her first trip abroad since France acquired her 143 years ago. The statue has been lent by the French Government as a gesture of friendship in connection with the Tokyo Olympics.
When the statue, encased in an insulated crate, arrived at Yokohama, it was met by the Mayor, and pretty Japanese girls, who decorated the crated with bouquets of carnations, for the 20-mile road journey to Tokyo. Eight hours after its arrival it was unpacked and displayed in the hall where about half-a-million Japanese are expected to see it. One of the greatest art treasures of the Western world, it usually gets star billing in the Louvre, along with Leonardo's 'Mona Liza' and the 'Winged Victory of Samothrace'.
With detailed examination, the 1 1/2 ton armless beauty, was found to have lost four small pieces, chipped from the folds of her robes below the hip on the left side. Three of the chips were plaster used in restoring the statue. The fourth, about 4 inches (10 cms.) long, and about as wide as a finger, was of the original marble. It's a fragment which was found lying beside the statue when it was discovered in 1820 on the Island of Milos.