The mystery of the Sleeping Giant in Greece’s Naxos

18 June 2018
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A giant ancient statue is lying on its back for centuries on a hill at the Greek island of Naxos.

The Kouros of Apollonas, also called the Colossus of Dionysus, is a 10.7 metre tall (35 feet) unfinished statue of light grey Naxian marble with a weight of around 80 tonnes.

It has never been stood erect as it were. It was left unfinished where it lies.

Dating between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. it is situated in the northern part of Naxos, in the picturesque fishing village of Apollonas.

It has a frontal construction with the hands stuck on the ribs and the elbows bent. Moreover, the left leg is longer than the other.

In most cases, kouros statues depict naked young men with their arms at their sides. It is clear however that the Kouros of Apollonas was to be a depiction of an older man with a beard and that its right arm would have been stretched out in front of it.

The archaic kouroi have usually been interpreted as depictions of Apollo. On account of its beard, the Kouros of Apollonas has instead been interpreted as the Greek god Dionysus.

Scientists say that the ancient sculptors got no further in their plans to transport this kouros, since a route for the further transport of the statue was never carved into the stone.

Most assume that it was too heavy to transport.

Other reasons for the statue remaining unfinished are mentioned in tourist guidebooks and websites.

There is a claim that it was realized late in the production process that the statue had several cracks, or it is assumed that the ancient sculptors thought it might break during the process of cutting it out of the ground, or that the sculpture was not paid for.

Source: Tasos Kokkinidis/greekreporter

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