Thanks to my friend Mohamed Halouani for this breaking, very sad news.
This Ganymede is a fascinating example of the complex dialogue between Greco-Roman and early Christian ideas about images. Spreading the news about its theft, I hope, may make it harder to fence.
For the definitive studies of the piece, please consult Elaine K. Gazda, “Ganymede and the Eagle. A Marble Group from Carthage,” Archaeology 34 (1981): 56–60, and Elaine K. Gazda, “A Marble Group of Ganymede and the Eagle from the Age of Augustine,” in J. H. Humphrey (ed.) Excavations at Carthage 1977 conducted by the University of Michigan, VI, Michigan 1981, 125-178. Detailed images available on Arachne.
Monday, November 11, 2013
CARTHAGE, TUNISIA—Over the weekend, thieves broke into the Early-Christian Museum in Carthage and stole a fifth-century A.D. marble statue depicting the mythological figure of Ganymede embracing Zeus in the form of an eagle. First discovered in pieces during a 1977 excavation in a cistern under the House of the Greek Charioteers in Carthage, the statue measured over a foot and a half once it was restored. Study of the sculpture and others like it made clear that wealthy Christians of the period did not hesitate to decorate their homes with pagan sculptures. The Tunisian police and Interpol are now on the lookout for the statue.