FROM OUR HISTORY
Bronze Statues of Brindisi
Published in the magazine
"Archeo", Sabatino Moscati describes
this as being the greatest archaeological find of the
season. He was referring to the over two hundred archaeological
finds on the sea bed found in the locality of "Punta
del Serrone", an area approximately 2 miles
north of the city of Brindisi.
In the article, Moscati describes these as antique works
of art, admirable even in their fragmented states which
have been brought to the surface and are celebrated
as the "Bronzes of Brindisi".
discovery dates back to the 19th and 25th of July, 1992
when five passionate divers, Luigi Robusto, who
at the time was an officer of the "Carabinieri",
Teodoro and Aldo Sciurti, Giancarlo Scorrano
and Giuseppe Tamburrano.
It was the officer who made the first find at approximately
7pm on the evening of the 19th. Diving not far from
the beach, Robusto immersed in the water at a point
known as "la crocetta" (the little cross),
this because there is a metal cross marking the area
of "Punta del Serrone", an area close to the
famous bathing beach known as "Punta Penna".
On the seabed, approximately 400 meters from the shoreline
and at a depth of sixteen meters, Robusto caught a glimpse
of a metal foot which was protruding from the sand;
almost a re-enactment of a similar find some twenty
years previously, when another metal foot was found
in the same area.
The five divers went back some seven days later, when
the north wind allowed them to immerse to once again
to pursue their find.
This time they discovered more pieces, hands, heads,
feet and also the first bronze statue. All the other
two hundred pieces were subsequently recovered
by specialized teams from the "Cooperativa Aquarius"
and "GRAS" (Gruppo Ricerche Archeologiche
Subacquee), which is the Underwater Archaeological
Research Team. This all took place between the dates
of the 6th of August and the 2nd of September, 1992,
covering an area of 300 sqm.
Amongst these finds, the most interesting are:
- two male busts which are to human scale and
date back to the age of the First Roman Empire;
- two bearded heads resembling philosophers which
also date back to the age of the Roman Empire;
- the fragmented head of a man considered being
that of the Emperor Caracalla;
- two female heads depicting fine workmanship
and that of a young girl;
- many fragments of art, depicting limbs
At the same time of the discovery, at the museum of
Brindisi a laboratory for the treatment of these works
of art was set up.
are the assumptions as to how these bronzes found their
way to the bottom of the seabed off the coast of Brindisi
about their origins and above all, their artistic quality
Some historians stated that these could have been inferior
quality works, destined for re-cycling at the foundry
in Brindisi and discarded during a storm at sea so as
to lighten the ship transporting them.
There is also talk of the famous works having been stolen
from the Middle East, but there is no argument to sustain
There is no certainty as to their origin or the time
of the wreck, neither any indication as to how they
found their way to the bottom of the sea, no relics
showing signs of a ship wreck nor any sunken cargo have
It seems certain however that these works were cast
between IV cent BC and III century AC.
The two busts which
have already been treated and restored represent the
Roman Council Lucio Emilio Paolo, hero of the
Macedonian War in 168 AC. There is also a Roman citizen
wearing a toga and both these are on exhibition
in a hall in the Provincial Museum "Francesco
Ribezzo" in "Piazza Duomo" together with
photos and descriptions of the various stages of the
During the process
of restoration, one of the heads was matched to the
torso of the Roman Council.
The lengthy process of restoration is being undertaken
by the laboratory of preservation in Florence and the
statues, "Bronzi di Punta del Serrone"
will soon find their place in the new hall of the museum
of Brindisi which is being purposely prepared.
Images (photo by Soprintendenza
- The bust of the Roman Council Lucio Emilio Paolo
- Recovery of the statue of the Roman citizen wearing
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