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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©


Czech' Persian Treasure Turns Out To Be a Fake

 

 

 

14 September 2005

 

Prague - Czech archaeologists were left red-faced on Tuesday after it emerged that a 10-centimetre-high statuette which they had claimed depicted a 5th century Persian goddess was nothing but a five-year-old fake created by a pensioner.

Archaeologist David Danicek hit international headlines last week after announcing that he had found the "unique seal" earlier this month on the same spot where he had earlier uncovered an ancient burial ground during his research into the great Central European migrations of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries.

"It is a sitting or half-kneeling woman's figure in a long green coat with a golden hook and probably a golden necklace who is hiding her face behind a book. The lower part of the statue is decorated with an erotic motif," Danicek's colleague, Petr Charvat, an expert in oriental cultures, enthused last week.

Danicek and Charvat speculated that the figure must have reached Central Bohemia via trade routes or military contacts along the northern border of the Roman Empire.

But 72-year-old Jiri Simunlek, a retired craftsman from the outskirts of Prague, told journalists on Tuesday that the gypsum carving was actually supposed to represent a "meditating nun".

It had been fashioned in 1968 using a mould that he had made from a figurine left to him by his late brother, who had worked in a ceramics factory.

Simunlek had used the mould to make several statuettes for friends. Then, five years ago, his grandchildren had tried to make their own copy, but when the result proved unsatisfactory, he threw it into a council skip along with some attic junk, he said.

 

 

 

 

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Source: IOL


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