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What Happened to the Venus de Milo's Arms?

The Venus de Milo, or Aphrodite of Milos. Credit: Bradley N Weber/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0The Venus de Milo, also known as the Aphrodite of Milos, is one of the most famous sculptures to have ever come out of ancient Greece. It is immediately recognizable by its missing arms — one of the greatest mysteries in…

Collections: Clothing, How Did They Make It? Part I: High Fiber

March 31, 2021
25 Minutes
This week we are starting the first of a four (?) part look at pre-modern textile production. As with our series on farming and iron, we are going to follow the sequence of production from the growing of fibers all the way to the finished object, with a focus not merely on the methods of production but also
on the people doing the producing at each stage of production. Now while I have titled this series, “Clothing, How Did They Make It?” it is worth noting that textiles were used for a lot more than just clothing. All sorts of household goods were produced this way. In addition, of course, clothing was sometimes made out of non-textile materials (although, as we’ve discussed, far less often than is portrayed in popular culture; in Eurasia, by and large, clothing meant textiles).

Venus de Milo: The Most Famous Armless Statue in the World

The Venus de Milo is perennially one of the hottest attractions at the Louvre Musuem in Paris, France. Todd Gipstein/Getty Images
She's one of the most recognizable figures in the art world, but shrouded in mystery. Ever since Louis XVIII donated her to the Louvre in 1821, she's captured the attention and praise of audiences and historians, but many are still baffled by her origins — who
is Venus de Milo, and what exactly happened to her arms?
The half-naked marble goddess many of us know as Venus de Milo actually likely represents two figures who are
notVenus, the Roman goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility. The statue is thought to represent either Aphrodite, Venus's Greek counterpart, or Amphitrite, the goddess-queen of the sea and wife of Poseidon. But when the statue was discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Melos (Milos in modern Greek) and presented to Louis (who in turn donated her to the Louvre), no one was quite sure what to make of her.

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