Amazing Find – How Did a Priceless Roman Bust End Up at a Texas Goodwill?
We've all gone thrifting at some point in our lives. Personally, I love going to vintage stores and finding classic hats that I'll wear around sometimes. It's always wonderful to find something that someone else thought would find a better place with someone else. But there are times when the item you purchase is something special and you truly don't know what exactly you've ended up with. Enter Laura Young, an antique dealer who found something she didn't expect at a Goodwill in Austin, Texas.
According to Newsweek, Young was looking underneath a table at Far West Goodwill, located in Austin back in 2018. There she discovered a bust that had seen better days and decided to just simply buy it.
After playing a small price of $34.99, she took her thrifting find back home and began to do research. However, while looking around for any info on the item in question, she discovered that it was worth far more than expected.
According to Newsweek, Laura eventually learned that the bust was a genuine Roman artifact over 2,000 years old. That would be exciting news, but there was a twist: it was a stolen! It seems that the piece was grabbed by some American soldiers during or shortly after World War II.
Young broke down the recent history of the piece in an Instagram post, which featured a museum display with more details.
Basically, the piece was part of a collection put together by Bavarian King Ludwig I, and was recorded in his inventory around 1833. Ludwig had built a full-scale replica of a Pompeiian house he called the Pompejanum, and the bust was on display there for years. The history gets a little murky later on, but what we know is that the Pompejanum was damaged during an Allied bombing in World War II. After the war, it seems like an American soldier may have taken the piece home to Texas, or bought it after someone else nabbed it.
View this post on Instagram
Texas Public Radio reports that Young got in touch with German officials, and the piece will be returned there. Meanwhile, it's currently on loan to the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Long story short, the bust had to be returned to where it belonged. Young, after a 4 year hassle, was able to get the bust back to where it belonged. But not after she obtained a 3D printed image of the bust for her to remember the adventure she went on with it.