Woman finds bust of 2,000-year-old Roman general at Texas Goodwill for $34.99


AUSTIN, Texas — Two thousand years ago in Rome, an artist carved a marble statue of a general’s head. The bust ended up in a museum of the Bavarian king in Germany centuries later before disappearing during World War II. Then Laura Young found it at a Goodwill in Austin.

“The head was on the floor under a display table,” said Young, who works as an antique dealer. “It looked really old. It was carved marble.”

Young bought the 52-pound, 19-inch-tall bust for $34.99 in 2018, sharing photos on her Instagram account of the statue strapped to her back seat with a seatbelt. Another photo showed the statue on a coffee table in his home wearing a mask.

After taking it home, she began her research and discovered that the work was actually a bust from the Julio-Claudian era of the famous Roman commander Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, also known as Drusus Germanicus or Drusus the Elder.

“He’s probably the coolest thing I could find,” Young said. “The most special. There is a lot of history.”

Friends at an auction house in London have confirmed that the bust is a genuine ancient relic. Another auction house confirmed to Young that the bust was listed in a 100-year-old catalog from a German art museum.

How the statue got to Texas is a mystery. Experts believe the bust found its way to Texas thanks to an American soldier stationed in Aschaffenburg during World War II. The statue must now be returned to its rightful owner.

“It’s bittersweet because I can’t sell it! I’m a drug dealer,” Young laughed. “I’m trying to make a living! »

Before heading to Germany, the bust of Germanicus will be on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art for a year, starting this week.

“I wish I knew where he was before I found him,” Young said. “But we may not find out.”

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