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After Long Fight, MFA To Send A 'Weary Herakles' Home11:01
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Researchers fit together plaster casts of the two halves of the "Weary Herakles" statue as part of the exchange between Turkey and the Museum of Fine Art to make the statue whole. (Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts)
Researchers fit together plaster casts of the two halves of the "Weary Herakles" statue as part of the exchange between Turkey and the Museum of Fine Art to make the statue whole. (Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts)

Somewhere in a second-floor storage room in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts sits the top half of an 1,800-year-old statue called the "Weary Herakles."

The piece is just one statue in a museum full of artistic masterpieces. But in Antalya, Turkey, the "Weary Herakles" is a very big deal. There, in the small coastal city some 5,000 miles away from Boston, is where you can find Herakles' bottom half.

The marble sculpture was likely discovered in Turkey sometime in 1980, and then acquired by the MFA 2 years later.

The top half of "Weary Herakles," in the Museum of Fine Arts collection. (Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts)
The top half of "Weary Herakles," in the Museum of Fine Arts collection. (Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts)

After the statue arrived in the U.S. some 3 decades ago, it became a symbol of all the artwork stolen from Turkey. Now, though, after years of back and forth between the MFA and Turkish officials, Herakles will soon be on his way home.

Geoff Edgers wrote about the statue's strange odyssey in Sunday's edition of the Boston Globe.

He told Radio Boston that the sculpture represents something far larger than just an old piece of art, specifically that this is part of a "long history of American museums and collectors purchasing works that were either stolen with their knowledge, or stolen or looted without their knowledge."

Guest:

  • Geoff Edgers, arts reporter, The Boston Globe

More:

READ: Making "Herakles" whole after all these years

This segment aired on July 18, 2011.

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