The Riace Bronzes celebrating the 50th anniversary of their discovery (1972-2022)

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50 years ago, the Ionian Sea returned its best-kept treasure for centuries: the Riace bronzes, the extraordinarily preserved statues of two Greek warriors that amazed archaeologists from all over the world.

But, who were those subjects who came from the depths? A study presented today in Rome poses an identity, placing them at the very origin of Athens.”

After considering and evaluating all the details, it has been possible to arrive at this reconstruction. I am quite convinced of this hypothesis, I think it is a very interesting proposal,” defended the Director General of Italian Museums, Massimo Ossana, during the presentation of the study in the Curia Julia of the Roman Forums.

The research has been carried out by the German archaeologists Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch, from the Liebieghaus sculpture museum in Frankfurt, and was presented in the Eternal City in style to commemorate the discovery of these famous Riace Warriors. 

Riace Bronzes
2,500-year-old Riace Bronzes. Photo: Profimedia

The statues thought to be of Polynices and Eteocles, two of the sons that Oedipus had with his mother Jocasta, ”can be none other than Erechtheus, the ancient king of Athens and the lord of the Thracians, and Eumolpos, the son of Poseidon and the legendary king of Thrace”, citing Prof. Brinkmann.

A series of events from visual art, and cinema, to exhibits and debates ”will celebrate until 2023 the historic heritage of the southern region of Calabria on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the two world-famous ancient Greek warrior statues called the Riace Bronzes on August 16, 1972. The celebration, with all the power of art history, heroes, warriors and legends is called Bronzi50 1972-2022.” according to

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