Roman-era treasures to court diktat for Banksy thieves: A buzzing week of art news

Home » Roman-era treasures to court diktat for Banksy thieves: A buzzing week of art news
A fresco showing a human figure

We are happy to curate trending stories for you from the many fascinating developments across the globe. Here’s the latest from the art world that you should not miss!

New attraction at Rome’s ancient Baths of Caracalla after 2000-year-old frescoes are restored

God of wine depicted in a fresco

Frescoes dating back almost 2,000 years to the time of the Roman emperor Hadrian will now be on display to the public when they visit Rome’s ancient Baths of Caracalla. Archaeologists have restored a part of the ceiling that shows Dionysius on a red background. The frescoes pre-date the baths themselves, and adorned a house that was part of a neighborhood destroyed to accommodate the baths, which were inaugurated in 216 AD and named after Marco Aurelio Antonio Bassiano, known as Caracalla — the son of the emperor Septimus Severus, CNN reports. The premise offered a variety of baths ranging in the temperature of the water to the bath’s purpose. Other parts of the building were used for studying and sports. The frescoes depict distinct pantheons, or types of gods. There are Greco-Roman (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) and Egyptian pantheons (Anubis, Isis and probably Serapis) together and suggest that someone from the family, evidently quite rich, must have had connections with Egypt. CNN has more news on this story. 

Artifacts recovered from Roman-era cargo ship

New finds from the shipwreck

A marble head of the mythical Greek hero Hercules, human teeth, and other artifacts were recovered from a 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck, according to a press release from archaeologists excavating the underwater site. The world’s oldest-known analogue computer, the Antikythera Mechanism, which was found more than a century ago, came from the same location, ARTnews reports. The Roman-era cargo ship, ca. 60 BCE, was found off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1900. Previous excavations have yielded numerous artifacts, coins, and statues, as well as amphorae dating from 80–70 BCE, Hellenistic pottery from 75–50 BCE, and Roman ceramics from the mid-first century. Corroded remnants belonging to the mysterious Antikythera Mechanism, which provides a model of the solar system, have also been found. It is believed that the mechanism would have functioned as a kind of calendar, noting key astronomical occurrences such as eclipses, and cultural events like the Olympics. Get more news on this story on ARTnews. 

Eight sentenced for stealing a Banksy

A Banksy painting in France

A French court sentenced eight men in the case concerning the 2019 theft of Banksy painting. It was stolen from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris where it has been installed in commemoration of the 90 who were killed there in a 2015 terrorist attack. Police had recovered the painting in 2020 at a farm in eastern Italy. Three who helped transport it were given 10 months in jail, while others received sentences that can be served while wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than sitting behind bars. Get more details on this story on ARTnews.

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