By Henry Widdas

To borrow a term from stone carving, are you feeling chipper today? If not, spare a thought for the Venus de Milo. Today, April 8 is 200 years since she was rediscovered, buried in pieces, on the Aegean island of Melos.

Carved from marble around 150 BC, she is generally thought to represent Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was presented to Louis XVIII, and donated to the Louvre in 1821. An imposing 6 1/2 feet high, the statue’s arms were never found, but she is truly stunning.

Classical statues originated in temples, gradually moving into the palaces and grand houses of the very wealthy. The British began shipping them back from the Grand Tour in the 18th century.

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