Lady Discovers Item She Bought for N14,525 Is Roman Artifact; She'll now Get Reward after Returning It

Lady Discovers Item She Bought for N14,525 Is Roman Artifact; She'll now Get Reward after Returning It

  • Art collector, Laura Young bought an item for $34.99(N14,525) only to find out that it is a missing Roman artifact
  • The young lady has agreed to return the missing artifact which she purchased from a secondhand store in Austin
  • In appreciating her beautiful gesture, Laura's name will be featured on a plaque after the artifact is returned

Art collector, Laura Young, has been making headlines after it was discovered that an item which she purchased at Goodwill for just $34.99 (N14,525) is a looted Roman artifact.

According to a report by People, Laura Young found the 52-pound bust in 2018 while shopping at Goodwill in Austin for items to resell.

Lady discovers that Her goodwill purchase Is a Roman artifact
Lady discovers that Her goodwill purchase Is a Roman artifact Source: Facebook/People.
Source: Facebook

Speaking during an interview with The Art Newspaper about how she came across the artifact, Laura said:

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"I've found a lot of interesting things at Goodwill in the past. It was on the floor, under a table. It looked pretty dirty, pretty old."

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A purchase that led to shocking discovery

According to Young, she bought the item unaware of the fact that it was a looted Roman artifact. She was only hopeful that someone would eventually buy it from her after purchasing the item from Goodwill.

However, she noted that after buying the sculpture from the secondhand store, she became hell-bent on finding the sculpture's origin.

To satisfy her curiosity, Young reached out to staff at the classics and arts departments at the University of Texas at Austin and auction houses in the U.S.

A consultant identified as Jörg Deterling later explained the history of the bust and led Young to authorities in Germany, per the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA).

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It was discovered that the sculpture was a missing Roman artifact which was previously looted and taken away.

A legal move that led to return

Following her discovery, Young's lawyer, Leila Amineddoleh, accompanied her to strike a deal that would get the statue to the Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes in Germany.

Her name will also be featured on a plaque upon its return.

However, according to the museum, it will first be on display at the SAMA until May 2023, before it would be taken to Germany.

Speaking to the workers in the museum, Young said,

"My husband and I were on a road trip when I got an email from Bonhams confirming the head was indeed ancient Roman, but without provenance they could be of no further assistance. Soon after that, Sotheby's got in touch"
"There were a few months of intense excitement after that, but it was bittersweet since I knew I couldn't keep or sell the (bust).

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Either way, I'm glad I got to be a small part of (its) long and complicated history, and he looked great in the house while I had him."

Meanwhile, earlier reported that the historical Ile-Ife artefact which was stolen many years ago was repatriated to Nigeria from Mexico.

The artefact was received on Thursday, April 8, by the Nigerian government represented by the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

The Charge d’Affaires of the Nigerian Mission in Mexico, Yakubu Dadu, presented the Ile-Ife artefact to the minister in Abuja.


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