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HISTORY: Count Ugolini At Butrint

goddess_Fotor_CollageThese atmospheric photographs from the 1930s show Archeologist Count Ugolini discovering Butrint. He was sent to Albania by Mussolini to find ancient Illyrian, Greek, Roman and Venetian ruins. He was a glamorous figure and a film shows him outside his white canvas tent at the excavations.  They show a theatre, the shrine of Asclepius and marble statues including the “Goddess of Butrint.”

Ugolini describes uncovering her:

I leapt into the trench convinced that it was a piece of sculpture and replaced him in the delicate task. It really was a head, and one that appeared to have a perfect profile! I washed the sculpture continuously, the better to see it during the delicate task of extraction and revealed a beautiful head whose fine and delicate marble contrasted with the lead-coloured surrounding mud. “It even has a nose! It even has a nose!” cried one of the Albanians. Our anxious experience was not a delusion, as it was one of the crowning moments of our work: the head of the ‘Goddess of Butrint.’

King Zog donated the head to Mussolini but she returned to Tirana in 1982 and is the subject of a novel by Teodor Laço, Korba Mbi Mermere.

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This entry was posted on June 3, 2014 by in History and tagged , .
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