A woman in Texas marked the Good will discovery of a lifetime after buying a Roman bust for around $35, only to find out later that it was an authentic 2000 year old work of art.
Laura Young said KXAN News that she bought the 52-pound marble bust in 2018 at her local Goodwill store in Austin, Texas.
“I have a history degree. I took art history classes, so in that moment I’m like, ‘I think this thing could be really, really old. So, I did an image search on Google and, you know, I looked up ‘Roman marble bust’ and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that looks like my guy,'” he said. she explains.
Experts aren’t sure how the centuries-old carving made its way to Texas. However, they determined that the art had disappeared from Germany since World War II.
According to CNNYoung contacted experts to gather information about the story of his unique marble discovery.
A specialist was able to connect the dots using a digital database that found photos of the bust in Bavaria, Germany in the 1930s.
A postdoctoral fellow in conservation at the San Antonio Museum of Art also lent a hand.
Lynley McAlpine told CNN that the Roman bust is most likely a depiction of Sextus Pompey, a Roman military leader from a strong military line. Pompey’s father is believed to be Pompey the Great, who was a notable ally of Julius Caesar.
The Roman bust is believed to have originally been housed in the Pompejanum (or Pompeiianum), a replica Roman villa that once belonged to King Ludwig I of Bavaria. It was last noted as part of a collection seen in a German museum bombed by World War II soldiers.
The bust has been missing since the invasion.
Young’s find is currently on temporary display at the San Antonio Museum. He will return to Germany in 2023.