Riace Bronzes return to public Saturday

Splendid warriors from antiquity restored

(ANSA) - Reggio Calabria, December 18 - A bigger, renovated showcase for the famed Riace Bronzes at the Reggio Calabria National Museum opens Saturday. One of Italy's best-loved cultural icons, the twin pair of bronze warriors returned home to the museum on December 6, after four years lying on their backs in the seat of regional government. Culture Minister Massimo Bray, who is widely credited with jump-starting the process of rescuing the priceless statues after years of neglect and red tape, will attend the opening. Italy has the world's biggest trove of archeological treasures, but the Riace Bronzes attracted particular attention. This was partly due to their exceptionally realistic rendering and partly to the general rarity of ancient bronze statues, which tended to be melted down and recycled. The bronzes are two of the most stunning works ever recovered from the cultural hotbed created by the ancient Greek civilization in southern Italy called Magna Graecia (Greater Greece).