The Rediscovered Kouros

15 Apr – 2 Ott 2022

‘The Rediscovered Kouros‘ is on display again at the Museo Civico di Castello Ursino in Catania, from 15 April through 2 October 2022, after it was exhibited at the Museo Paolo Orsi in Syracuse and at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. The whole project was made possible – also thanks to the investigations conducted by Vittorio Sgarbi – by joining together two different finds: namely, the Kouros of Lentini, the torso of a headless ephebe acquired in 1904 by Paolo Orsi and held in the Regional Archaeological Museum of Syracuse named after him, and the Testa Biscari found by Ignazio Paternò Castello Prince of Biscari in the 18th century and kept in the Museum of Castello Ursino. This successful ‘match’ has given birth to a new work of art, adding to the statuary repertoire of Greek Sicily. This finally unified statue outshines the two discreet finds that were once admired separately in two different museums.

The exhibition

In the ‘Rediscovered Kouros’ the ‘Apollonian Head’ found in the 18th century by Ignazio Paternò Castello Prince of Biscari and kept in the Museum of Castello Ursino is rejoined to the headless torso of an ephebe acquired in 1904 by Paolo Orsi and held in the Regional Archaeological Museum in Syracuse named after him. The Kouros was a Greek statue depicting a standing naked young man representing no individual youth in particular. With its funerary or votive function, it was common in the archaic and classical period, between the 7th and 4th centuries BC. A new work is thus added to the statuary repertoire of Greek Sicily.

The idea was put forward by art critic Vittorio Sgarbi and by the mayor of Catania, and implemented in 2018 thanks to the efforts of Sebastiano Tusa, the former Regional Councillor for Cultural Heritage. Together with the Fondazione Sicilia, he appointed Messrs Siqilliya with its restoration. The restored statue was presented for the first time in the Sala della Cavallerizza of Palazzo Branciforte in Palermo. The Kouros restoration project was curated by the late Sebastiano Tusa and aimed to restore its integrity, thus finally settling a long time debate on different assumptions made by the scientific community about whether the two pieces did actually belong to one single statue from the Archaic age.

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The petrographic and geochemical investigations conducted by the LapiS (Lapidei Siciliani) Association since 2011 were a key prerequisite for assembling the two finds back together. These investigations confirmed that both pieces were fashioned from the same block of marble, quarried on the Greek island of Paros.

In order to join the two pieces together in a reversible manner, an existing hole at the base of the head – which was severely truncated in the 18th century –  was used, and “a very short gap” was filled with a specially designed and prototyped high-strength plastic prosthesis.

Fouling and scaling that were concealing the marble surface at the back and sides of the torso have been removed by thorough cleaning, thus enhancing the marble surface tone for its full appreciation.

Promoted by Regione Sicilia (Department of Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity), the Municipality of Catania (Department of Cultural Activities and Heritage), the Fondazione Sicilia, in collaboration with the Sicilian Lapidary Association (LapiS) and the Regional Centre for Planning and Restoration (CRPR), the exhibition was produced and organised by Civita Sicilia.


15 Apr – 2 Ott 2022 Catania, Museo Civico di Castello Ursino, Piazza Federico II di Svevia

Monday to Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Ticket office closes one hour before closing time.


The ticket includes admission to visit Castello Ursino’s collections.

€ 10.00 Standard Ticket

€ 8.00 discounted ticket for groups of more than 12 people, for visitors up to 26 years of age, over 65 and holders of special concessions.

€ 4.00 discounted ticket for schools.

Free admission for children under 6, two accompanying teachers per school class, schools in the  Municipality of Catania, disabled individuals with one accompanying person, licensed tourist guides, accredited journalists.

Online Presale charges 1.00 €

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