A collector from Texas made the lucky find of a Roman bust, dating back more than 2000 years in a thrift store. The object was loaned to the American Regional Museum on Thursday.
Originally from Austin, Laura Young discovered the statue belonging to King Ludwig I of Bavaria in a Goodwill store, for the modest sum of $35. The object was, several years later looted from the Nazis by the American allies during the Second World War.
“If you know me personally you know I have a big mouth so it was tough. Yes, I got it at Far West Goodwill here in Austin. Yes, it was $35. It is loaned to the San Antonio Museum of Art until next year,” Laura Young posted on Instagram on Thursday.
After its purchase, since the work was stolen, she could not keep it. She couldn’t sell it, and getting it back to its rightful owners was a lot harder than it looks.
“At that point, I realized I was probably going to need some help,” Young told Texas radio station KUT. “I was probably going to need a lawyer.” She then hired a New York lawyer specializing in international art law, Leila Amineddoleh.
According to the museum, the bust depicts either a son of Pompey the Great, who was defeated in battle by Julius Caesar, or Nero Claudius, a Roman commander whose forces once occupied German territory.
The San Antonio Museum of Art will exhibit the bust until May 2023.