According to an announcement issued by the Louvre Museum, one of its its most important exhibits, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, also known as Nike of Samothrace, will be withdrawn for maintenance within September 2013.
The Louvre’s Maintenance Committee approved the commencement of work on the marble statue of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, according to Museum’s statement.
An International subcommittee of experts will attend and supervise the work of this important project, estimated to last for more than a year. The total cost of the maintenance is estimated to reach 3 million euros, entirely financed by the project sponsors (Nippon Television Holdings, Fimalac, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Programme).
The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a 2nd century BC marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.
The statue’s outstretched right wing is a symmetric plaster version of the original left one. As with the arms, the figure’s head has never been found, but various other fragments have since been found: in 1950, a team led by Karl Lehmann unearthed the missing right hand of the Winged Victory. The fingerless hand had slid out of sight under a large rock, near where the statue had originally stood. On the return trip home, Dr Phyllis Williams Lehmann identified the tip of the Goddess’s ring finger and her thumb in a storage drawer at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, where the second Winged Victory is displayed. The fragments have been reunited with the hand, which is now in a glass case in the Louvre next to the podium on which the statue stands.