If proof (apart from cuts and bruises) were needed that my spatial skills are so poor that I can walk into doors, art historian David Knell has pointed out that the patch-and-hole in the Gaza “Apollo” (tray-bearer) is embarrassingly obviously on the outer left calf. Well that’s that sorted, then. Now there’s just everything else left.
Since Vernon Silver (@VTSilver) dug that photo of the Gaza “Apollo” (tray-bearer) out of the corner of the web, he, David Meadows (@rogueclassicist), Justin Walsh (@jstpwalsh) and I (@conflictantiq) have been discussing it on Twitter, and Vladimir Stissi‘s given yet another astute post-length analysis in a comment on my last post.
Here, I want to try to compare a few photos to work out which part of which limb is in that photo, and whether the hole was made as part of the statue (whether it was an original feature) or whether it was done to part of the statue (whether it was a subsequent accident).
Just as I emerged from application hell, Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Vernon Silver (@VTSilver) found a fantastic and potentially conclusive (or meaningless) photograph of the Gaza “Apollo” (tray-bearer). It’s nothing like the photos of trinkets, false leads and forgeries in my last post – but it may reveal whether or not this statue is a forgery.
David Meadows is doing a series on the “Apollo” (tray-bearer) statue from Gaza. So far, he’s written a post on fishy tales and a note on Arabic-language news reports. Vernon Silver showed David articles from Sama News and Palestine Press, including one without the Smurf-pattern bedsheet. But I don’t think it’s the sheet that’s been removed. I think it’s the statue…
As Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Vernon Silver and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza observed, the Gaza “Apollo” (or, more likely but less romantically, the Gaza tray-bearer) has ‘one intact inlaid eye‘ and one missing. But one thing that I don’t believe has been discussed is when and why it lost its left eye.
Two quick notes (while several posts are on their way)… As discussed in the comments on on of my early posts, the statue may not be an Apollo; it may be a tray-bearer. Or is it nothing at all? As always, Paul Barford’s covering this as well as everything else, and he’s not certain about the corrosion. I wanted to note this immediately, but I’ll post more on it later.
In the last post, I compared the fisherman’s – fishermen‘s – tale(s) of how (t)he(y) found the Gaza Apollo by accident (and I showed how one was an implausibly perfect mirror image of the other). The original investigator, Fabio Scuto, judged that his and re-investigator Vernon Silver’s ‘sources [we]re obviously different’.
In fact, the new story is even more perfectly counterposed to the old one than I’ve shown already. And the nature of the stories may explain why one is the opposite of the other. The origins of the stories may lie at the top(s) of the Palestinian state(s)…
There’s more news on the story of the Gaza Apollo/tray-bearer(1), but now we might know less…
I want to make clear, immediately, just how uncomfortable I am with this post. Both the act and the process are difficult and troubling, and if anyone would recommend removing or otherwise amending the identifying information, I will take it into very serious consideration.
Nonetheless, I have multiply-cross-checked, publicly-available sources that confirm the identity of the (supposed) eBay seller of the Gaza Apollo; and I have contacted the subject repeatedly via various media, but he has not responded.