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Chatfe's avatar

If you found the arms of the Venus de Milo in perfect condition would you want them reattached?

Asked by Chatfe (427points) December 8th, 2009

Would the statue, which is famous for its beauty as much as for its missing arms, be lesser if it were restored?

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19 Answers

holden's avatar

That would be like repairing the crack on the Liberty Bell or building a nose for that Sphinx. It just wouldn’t be right. It’s because we have come to cherish the flaws of these emblemic monuments as much as the monuments themselves.

Snarp's avatar

Make a replica with the proper arms to see what it originally looked like, but leave the arms off the original.

Jeruba's avatar

I would. I trust the judgment of the original sculptor, who did very nicely with the part we can still see and who, I am sure, never said, “This is going to look a whole lot better when the arms fall off.” Also I would like to see what position they are in.

gemiwing's avatar

@Jeruba What an interesting way to view it- I never thought of it that way.

Personally, I would keep them off and mount them above my fireplace a’la Dead Deer Head. Two big arms reaching out of a wooden plaque. I could decorate them for the holidays with nice gloves and perhaps a tasteful bracelet. smoooothe

Flarlarlar's avatar

I agree with @gemiwing, it’s way more interesting to make a fireplace decoration. Besides, i believe reattaching the arms would decrease both the esthetic as monetary value of the original.

marinelife's avatar

I am with the wise @Jeruba on this one. Why not see the art as its creator intended it?

davidk's avatar

I agree with your take on this one. Since we don’t know what the intact statue looked like, we also don’t know whether or not it would be aesthetically improved or reduced.

Zaku's avatar

Depends on how good the arms are and what they’re doing. ;-P jk
Gee, the curator could have alternating days where the arms are attached or disconnected…
Oh, and if you want to see an impression of what it’d be like, the Hollywood Wax Museum in the LA area has a wax version of the model modeling for the statue…

SeventhSense's avatar

Sure maybe add the head to the Winged Victory of Samothrace while you’re at it. Their artists meant them to have these parts…regardless of our affinity for amputees.

RAWRxRandy's avatar

I like it without arms o.o
yes it would ruin it’s…beauty? if you restored it’s arms @Snarp i like your idea.

augustlan's avatar

Wow, that’s a really tough call. I’m completely torn on this one! Perhaps we could combine @Jeruba‘s and @Snarp‘s ideas. Make a cast model without the arms, and attach the arms to the original.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes. Just because something is damaged over the years doesn’t make it right.

Bugabear's avatar

Absolutley. After seeing the original it really annoyed me that it was missing arms.

Chatfe's avatar

@holden I see your point, but I think the difference between the Venus de Milo and the Liberty Bell is that the Liberty Bell’s crack is part of its story, making it more impressive. I’m not sure that the Venus became more impressive just because it misses arms. As for the Sphinx, I don’t think its knocked off nose makes it any better, but it does remind us that the civilizations that came after the Ancient Egyptians wanted to show their disrespect and so intentionally damaged the Sphinx’s face. That kind of lends more of a historical perspective to it. I like @Jeruba‘s idea.
Tough call, because those arms ain’t coming back.

Jeruba's avatar

It is inspiring to be in the company of those whose aesthetic sense is superior to that of the sculptor of the Venus de Milo.

SeventhSense's avatar

It’s actually kind of disturbing that we admire a woman with no arms. The aesthetic would never be the same with an armless man.
How about a woman with no arms and legs?
If she was a man we could call her Matt :)

Kayak8's avatar

Did you not read A Farewell to Arms?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Kayak8 Is that supposed to be funny? A Farewell to Arms has nothing to do with physical arms, does it?

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