What is that you may well ask?
On the island Mali Losinj is the Museum of Apoxyomenos.
The whole museum is dedicated to just one statue. Apoxyomenos. It is the Greek term for the depiction of an athlete scraping oil, sweat, sand and dust from his body with a strigil after exercising or competing. This statue is of an athlete at a moment in which he is cleaning his strigil.
The Lošinj Apoxyomenos was recovered from the sea off the island of Lošinj in 1999. It is thought to have been made in the second or first century B.C. Theories abound as to how the statue ended up in the waters near Lošinj. It may have been thrown overboard
The statue was discovered in 40 m of water just off the island, by a tourist, in 1999. It is estimated that it's been lying there for over 2000 years. Unimaginable really.
Theories abound as to how the statue ended up in the waters near Lošinj. It may have been thrown overboard by Greek sailors during a storm to appease the gods or just to lighten the load.
Standing 192 cm high and weighing 300 kg, the statue is made of bronze and is a chef-d’oeuvre of ancient sculpture. The statue represents an “apoxyomenos”, an athlete removing the oil and sand from his body with a small metal scraper called a strigil. The author of the statue is unknown, but the classical beauty and the quality of the statue indicate he was a master of sculpture. Of the eight known Apoxyomenos statues, the Croatian one is the most complete and best preserved.
It was a 6 year project to recover and restore the bronze statue. The Museum documents the story of Apoxymenos. They have estimated that this Hellenic statue is a copy of an original dating to the 4th C BC, and that it was made in the 2nd C BC, at a time flourishing trade in Greek antiquities and their copies. Unbelievably this statue was found intact, with only the eyes and the little finger of the left hand missing. And as a bonus there was the remains of a 'ancient' mouse nest ao food found in the encrusted statue, this helped determine the age of the statue itself.
Apoxyomenos is housed in a temperature controlled room. No cameras allowed. He seems huge. Probably 6'4" (although he appears larger than life size) with very well developed muscles, particularly legs and back muscles. His feet are huge. Everything seems in proportion for an athlete, except to me his hands are small as are his not so private, private bits.
Standing 192 cm high and weighing 300 kg, the statue is made of bronze and is a chef-d’oeuvre of ancient sculpture. The sculptor of the statue is unknown, but the classical beauty and the quality of the statue indicate he was a master of sculpture. Of the eight known Apoxyomenos statues, this one is the most complete and best preserved.
The Museum is well worth a visit, it's quite unique in that it is dedicated to just one object. It has been nominated for Best Museum in Europe for this year. It's not flooded with international visitors, that may change. And you are asked to wear little white booties while in the museum..