New investigations are underway in order to find a third bronze statue. The Riace Bronzes may be more than two.
In search of a Third Bronze
Towards the end of 2021, Antonio Trifoli, Mayor of Riace, announced extensive underwater excavations in order to find a third bronze. This decision is based on reports by Stefano Mariottini, the man who found the Riace Bronzes, to the Carabinieri in 1972. Mariottini told them that he had spotted a group of bronzes, including one with its arms outstretched and one leg in front of the other. None of the two already found bronzes now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria actually fits the description. There is also another fact in addition to Mariottini’s words: in 2004, some researchers on board a US ship reported some metal objects near the site of the previous discovery.
Giuseppe Braghò, a Calabrian journalist and archaeology enthusiast, supports Mayor Trifoli’s decision. Together they have selected and put together a scientific committee of ten members, led by the famous underwater archaeologist Luigi Fozzati. The aim is to conduct new investigations on the site.
The Three Stages of Underwater Excavations to Find the Third Bronze
Underwater excavations are planned to be carried out in three phases, starting in 2022 – the year of the 50thanniversary of the discovery – and lasting at least nine weeks at the specific locations where the US researchers have detected and identified the presence of metal objects.
The search for the third Bronze is therefore more real than ever. However, according to recent studies, a group of five statues allegedly sank with a ship that was carrying them from Rome to Constantinople. At this point the story of the Riace Bronzes could be further enriched with fascinating new discoveries and valuable archaeological finds.
The assumption that the seabed of the Ionian Sea might hold other wonderful treasure troves has never been disproved. Now it’s time for action!