“Weary Herakles” gets his legs back

The torso of Herakles that the Boston Museum of Fine Arts recently admitted after decades of shameless, self-serving denial was the other half of a statue whose legs were in the Antalya Museum in Turkey has finally been rejoined to its limbs and put on display.

The torso flew back accompanied by no less a dignitary than the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was in New York last month to attend the UN General Assembly and he volunteered to pick up Herakles top half and carry it back to Turkey in his plane. Herakles and Erdoğan flew back together on Sunday, September 25. Museum workers immediately began to put humpty dumpty together again.

The two parts of the statue were reunited by experts and went on display at the Antalya Museum following a ceremony. Speaking at the event, [Turkish Culture Minister Ertugrul] Günay said, “Today was a special day for all people who attach importance to history and archeology.”

The lower half of the statue was found by Professor Jale İnan during excavations near Perge, Antalya province, in 1980. İnan searched extensively for the upper half of the statue, a feat that took 10 years, until she was finally able to locate it in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1990, at the age of 76.

The Antalya Museum’s “Weary Herakles” display looks a lot better now.

P.S. – Seeing the statue back together really puts to the lie to all the huffing and puffing the Boston Museum of Fine Art did to pretend the halves could have come from two completely different copies of Lyssipos’ original “Weary Herakles.”