18. 09. 12. - 12:45
Priceless chariot of the naked goddess heading to London
An ornamental chariot bearing a naked goddess that was built 700 years before the birth of Christ and which is worth over 50 million euros is heading to London.
The bronze-age Strettweg Chariot was found by a farmer ploughing his field near Judenburg, Austria in 1851.
It was regarded as so valuable that a special law was introduced by the local government banning it from ever being allowed out of the country for display abroad - and in order to allow the trip to London MPs had to vote to make an exception.
The MPs agreed, and now the chariot has been allowed to make a one-off visit to the UK.
Archeologists who rushed to the area after the wagon was found also located jewelry, bronze amphorae, iron weapons, and tack and harness gear for horses that would have pulled the device.
The chariot has four wheels with a naked female figure at the centre holding a bowl-shaped object and surrounded by numerous other figures in the form of both standing and mounted people - as well as deer and horses.
The Strettweg Sacrificial Chariot was finally restored in 2009 and went on display in the newly redesigned Universalmuseum Joanneum archeology musseum at Schloss Eggenberg in Graz, Styria.
In London it will go on display at the Royal Academy of Arts as part of the bronze sculpture exhibition due to open on 9 December.
Austria lists the chariot as one of its three most valuable archeological properties, with ther other two being the Venus von Willendorf statue and the Dürrnberg kettle.