The Portrait of Esther The Black Notebook

The Venus de Milo: from marble to plaster

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Episode II - page 49

Like the other masterpieces that were part of the French public collections, the Venus de Milo was evacuated from the Louvre in September 1939.

Vénus de Milo
Parian marble, circa 130-100 BC Louvre Museum
Wikimedia Commons

Taken down from its pedestal, tied up and placed in a crate, the sculpture travelled by road to the Château de Valençay. However, the German authorities demanded the reopening of the Louvre Museum so that the key pieces of the French collections could be seen by the public.

In September 1940, the Louvre reopened its doors and the Venus de Milo was once again on display to the public. However, what was presented was not the marble sculpture but a plaster cast. The marble original was kept in safekeeping until it returned to the Louvre in 1945.