March 19, 2011

Paris Diary: Replica of Stolen Art at Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin

Paris - The statue above the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Louvre is a replica of the original "The Triamphal Quadriga" more commonly known as "Horses of Saint Mark". The original bronzes, analyzed to be more likely copper supporting the theory that they are more Roman than Greek, sat on top of a column in the Hippodrome in Constantinople until the Venetians took a detour during the Fourth Crusade in the 13th century to loot the Christian city of its wealth, including slicing off the horses' heads to ship back to San Marcos Square in Venice. Napoleon stole them in the early 19th century before they were returned to Venice. The horses outside of St. Mark's Basilica are also a copy; the originals reside inside the cathedral.

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