The Italian Almanac

satyr and nimphs

Italian News - March 15

The hunt is on for the 'brothers' of a 2,400-year-old bronze satyr fished out of the sea off Sicily seven years ago. "We are sure there are similar objects down there," said Sicily's maritime culture chief Sebastiano Tusa.

The Sicilian regional government has contacted top Italian fuels group Eni to tap into its experience laying underwater cables. "They've provided us with special equipment that should enable us to find the satyr's brothers," Tusa said. The official said Eni's dredging probes had already enabled specialists to locate the wreck of a IV century AD Roman ship that will be raised from the sea floor in the next few weeks.

The Dancing Satyr was retrieved from the waters of the Sicilian Channel in March 1998. The 2m-high figure, found by a crew from the fishing port Mazara del Vallo south of Trapani, is one of Italy's most important marine archaeological finds ever - second only to the famed Riace Bronzes.

The satyr's origin is still a riddle. While missing both arms and one leg, its cocked head, tossed hair, torso and bounding leg are remarkably well-preserved. It is thought to have been part of a group of statues of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility, with other satyrs, fauns and mythological creatures.