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US art detective claims statue was model for Michelangelo

[ 2011-02-25 11:14]     字号 [] [] []  
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A US art detective says he has proof a garish terracotta statue found discarded in a moldy cardboard box in an Italian antiques shop is an original model by Michelangelo for his famous Pieta.

"When I first set eyes on the statue I couldn't speak for fully 10 minutes, it was so beautiful. Such mastery, it's impossible to capture in words," Roy Doliner said in Rome this week as he presented his book on the discovery.

"I knew at once it was an original Michelangelo," he said, a conviction that drove him to challenge Italy's art experts, who had ascribed the 'Madonna della Febbre' statue of Mary cradling Jesus to Renaissance sculptor Andrea Bregno.

Doliner said the young Michelangelo would have made the terracotta model before embarking on the full marble statue.

Italian experts say the work was by Bregno but it helped inspired Michelangelo's far more celebrated 15th-century sculpture.

The art detective and writer, who first unveiled his findings in December, won't disclose the whereabouts of the statue, though it has been seen and photographed by journalists.

Doliner was called in by a private collector who had discovered the statue and bought it. The collector had the statue restored and found what he thought were Jewish symbols etched onto the bottom of it, which might prove the work was Michelangelo's.

Rebutted by traditional art historians, the collector turned to self-styled historical consultant Doliner, who specializes in Michelangelo mysteries and has written a book on codes hidden in the Sistine Chapel ceiling.


1. How long was Roy left speechless for?

2. What century was Michelangelo’s sculpture from?

3. In what chapel are codes hidden in the ceiling?


1. 10 minutes.

2. 15th century.

3. Sistine.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

US art detective claims statue was model for Michelangelo

About the broadcaster:

US art detective claims statue was model for Michelangelo

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.