Caligula ship mosaic returned to Italy

Had been NYC art dealer's coffee table decoration

(ANSA) - ROME, MAR 11 - A mosaic that once adorned the lost ships that flamboyant Roman Emperor Caligula sailed on Lake Nemi near Rome has been returned to Italy after being found four years ago as a coffee table decoration of an Italian art dealer in New York.
    The famed mosaic, once thought lost forever, will return to its former home in the Museum of Roan Ships at Nemi after being recovered by the crack art cops of the Carabinieri.
    Museum director-general Massimo Osanna said the mosaic could once more be admired in situ, COVID restrictions permitting.
    The mosaic, made up of inlaid marble in a technique called opus sectile, was part of the paving on the two massive ships that Caligula used ceremonially at Nemi in the first century AD.
    The reign of the famously eccentric and bloodthirsty emperor only lasted four years, until his assassination in 41 AD, and the mosaic is one of the most prized products of his term.
    The ships were dug up and displayed in 1936 but almost totally destroyed in a WWII Allied air raid, making the mosaic all the more precious. (ANSA).


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