In 1964 fishermen from the Italian city of Fano raised from the sea bottom an ancient bronze statue: the copy of a Greek artisan who was meticulous reproducing a renown work in the Roman world? Or was it Lysippos’ original work, taken into Italy by the Roman conquerors? The fact is, this is a piece of universal cultural value, of which the fierce quarrel over its ownership is being currently disputed between Italy and the United States; while the memory of its discovery and ties to the Adriatic Sea have made it a solid part of Fano’s cultural heritage. This Athlete statue coming from the sea is called “the Lysippos”, the “Atleta di Fano”, “the Getty Bronze”, and the more neutral title: “the Victorious Youth”. Such as its many names, so are the numerous unsolved questions about this work of art. This volume hosts an interdisciplinary debate among experts addressing the legal issues around it, its conservation and valorisation, its relationship with Adriatic area and with the communities who retain it their rightful heritage, and the topic of the circulation of Greek works of art in the Roman world. The objective of such a debate is to bring into the public spotlight the possibilities and difficulties involved in an eventual return of the statue to Italy from the Getty Museum, a return now past due for a long time.
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