Riace Bronzes back home
'One of world's greatest treasures restored to its citizens'06 December, 14:25
"We are keeping a promise to give all the citizens of the world back one of its greatest treasures," said Culture Minister Massimo Bray.
Bray vowed to give the Bronzes "all the loving attention they need" to restore them to their full glory after the toll of undignified neglect in a store-room of the government offices in Reggio Calabria, on the other side of the southern Italian city.
"Thanks to Bray, the bronzes will soon be back on display," said Calabria Archaeological Superintendent Simonetta Bonomi.
She said the minister would shortly announce the date on which the public can start flocking back to admire two of the most stunning works ever recovered from the cultural hotbed created by the ancient Greek civilisation in southern Italy called Magna Graecia (Greater Greece).
A renovated showcase for the glorious warrior figures is expected to be unveiled early next year.
The statues were moved from Reggio Calabria's Museum of Magna Graecia at the end of 2009 because the cultural institute badly needed restoration.
But the work at the museum become a victim of budget cuts and red tape, leaving the statues out in the cold and spurring a national and international outcry.