the most important item in this area is the statue of Aphrodite.
It is a marbled statuette which can be said to be an exact replica
of the one sculptured by the great Greek artist Praxiteles about
4th Century BC. This statuette was found while digging for an Air
Raid shelter in the 1940s during the World War II, in old Melita
which is today St. Joseph's Street in Rabat. It was donated by the
late Miss Clorinda Bonello in 1985.' (Camilleri
Fr. V. (M.S.S.P.), p.17) This
statue is also known as the Aphrodite of Cnidos.
is believed that the Aphrodite of Cnidos, created by Greek artist
Praxiteles in the 4th Century BC, was the first statue to feature
a life sized nude female. The residents of Kos commissioned an
Aphrodite statue from the artist, who created fully clothed and
nude versions of the piece. Kos chose the clothed version.The
nude Aphrodite was bought by the residents of Knidos who put it
in an open temple' (Epand, V.)
are no records about its' existence anymore. Possibly the statue
was removed to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and was lost in
a fire during the Nika riots. For a time in 1969, the archaeologist
Iris Love thought she had found the only surviving fragments of
the original statue, which are now in storage at the British Museum.
The prevailing opinion of archaeologists is that the fragment in
question is not of the Knidia, but of a different statue.
original statue of "Aphrodite of Cnidus" probably represented
the renowned beauty Phryne, the favourite of Praxiteles. Phryne
was a peasant girl from Boeotia, very poor, but as she grew to womanhood
her loveliness attracted all Athens and brought her lovers, renowned
and great wealth and among her lovers was Praxiteles. (Munson
Bryant, L., (1914), p.43)
throughout the ages have created works inspired by the original
Aphrodite of Cnidus. Therefore, 'Numerous copies were made and
from those we gather our evidence of what the original looked
like.' (Epand, V.) It is said that the most faithful replica of
the statue is the Colonna Venus conserved in the Museo Pio-Clementino,
part of the collections of the Vatican Museums.