Unique Celtic head sculpture on display in Olomouc
One of the most precious items from the archives of the National Museum of the Czech Republic, a sculpted Celtic head dating back to the Iron Age, is currently on display at the Regional Museum in Olomouc. The valuable sculpture is the highlight of a two-week exhibition of Celtic art and can be seen until February 25.
The sculpture, which only rarely goes on display, was probably created at the end of the third or at the beginning of the second century BC. It is one of the best-known works of Celtic art from Iron Age Europe. The male head sculpted in limestone was discovered in the village of Mšecké Žehrovice, about 65 kilometers away from Prague, in 1943. It was unearthed by chance by a local man, Josef Šlajchrt, as he was making terrain adjustments in his sand quarry.
Michal Lukeš, the director of the National Museum in Prague, says: “What makes it really unique is that it is the only sculpture of its kind dating back to the 2nd or 3rd centuries BC outside of the territory of Ancient Greece and Rome. The insurance value of the sculpture has been estimated at dozens or hundreds of millions of crowns, but it is just a number. What is unique can hardly be replaced.”
With its iconic moustache, bulging eyes, neck-ring and unique hairstyle, the limestone head has become one of the symbols of Celtic art and one the most photographed Celtic monuments in the world. “The s-shaped motives in the face, on the moustache and the eyebrows, are really unique. There were several dozen similar sculptures found in Western Europe, but their features are depicted very roughly,” explains Pavel Sankot, the National Museum’s curator.
The valuable sculpture was transported to the museum under heavy security and strict security measures will also remain in place during the exhibition itself. The precious Celtic head, probably the most world-famous archeological piece found in the Czech Republic, can be seen in Olomouc until February 25 in Regional Museum of Olomouc.
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