Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ancient statues linked to poet Ovid unearthed near Rome

Published on Jan 10, 2013 6:21 AM
This undated handout photo released on January 9, 2013 by the beniculturali for archaeology in the Lazio region shows archeologists recovering a statue recovered during excavations at an ancient villa near the Italian capital. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROME (AFP) - Seven Roman statues depicting one of the myths recounted by celebrated Latin poet Ovid have been unearthed in excellent condition during excavations at an ancient villa near the Italian capital, archaeologists said Wednesday.

"We had known for a while that there were traces in the area of Valerio Messala," a rich Roman general who was patron to Ovid, said Ms Elena Calandra, superintendent for archaeology in the Lazio region.

"We carried out exploratory digs before authorising the full-scale evacuation, and found Messala's swimming pool with the seven statues at the bottom," she said.

The two-metre-high statues are "in an excellent state of conservation," she added.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!