Stolen: bronze statue gifted to Cincinnati by Mussolini's Rome

Originally published at: Stolen: bronze statue gifted to Cincinnati by Mussolini's Rome | Boing Boing


The fact that the statue was stolen rather than merely vandalized supports the theory that it was taken by modern-day fascists who see the ties to Mussolini as a positive rather than a negative.


Maybe, but who knows. Theft of public property made of bronze has sadly been fairly common among thieves in my area just for the scrap value.

Apparently it’s a worldwide phenomenon:


Maybe but I’d think they would at least make an attempt at Roms+Rems if that were the case.

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My home town has one of those, too, that the city had to hide during the second world war, because people were trying to vandalize it. We got it because there was an italian mill in town. I suspect Cincinnati got one for similar reasons.


The photo shows that the wolf was cut off at the thinnest point of the legs, just above the paws. Pretty quick cuts with a battery-powered angle grinder or saw. Maybe the geometry of the smaller figures was just harder to deal with using their tools, or they were just focused on making a quick getaway with the larger figure before attracting attention.



Clearly the wolf engaged the its cloaking device.

But yeah, very well could have been scrappers.

And honestly, what is left is kinda interesting art on its own. The statues of Romulus and Remus with out the wolf as context is a bit absurd/interesting.

Stuff like this is weird. On its own, there isn’t really anything wrong with the replica sculpture. It is just WHO gave it to the city that is the problem. :confused:


Yeah, I’ve read about some quite famous bronze statues being stolen purely for the scrap value - e.g. a Henry Moore sculpture worth something around $18 million stolen and destroyed for its couple thousand dollars (at most) scrap value. It’s sickening, and a huge problem in the US.


There’s a fun old dispute about the whole Romulus and Remus being raised by a “she-wolf”; in latin: lupa was also commonly used to mean prostitute. So one could imagine an alternate mythic sculpture. And for the original rendering someone added the babies considerably (~1900 years) later to a much older Etruscan wolf statue.


The cincinatti statue has a connection to Mussolini, but in another city, it was a private company’s logo, and the Mussolini story was an attempt to get a provincial town to not complain so much about the nudity. After all, it was a diplomatic gift

I was thinking the plinth could just be re-engraved as, “The Hubris of Tyrants”

One hopes that by now every municipality has had high quality 3D scans of their statues made, just in case they need to be reconstructed. It wouldn’t be the same, but better than nothing. But I doubt that is the case for even 1% of them.

I wonder how good an SfM model one could make of a statue of medium public interest just from collecting all the tourist photos one could get one’s hands on…

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The Cincinnati statue was a gift from the Italian government, not a direct gift from Mussolini.

Very disappointing that this happened. I quite enjoyed the statue as it always gave me great relief…


Reminds me a bit of how the “Fearless Girl” statue was added near that bull on Wall Street, which gives the original statue a different context.

I wonder if there’s something that could be added to the various remaining Confederate statues to change the context and make them less awful. Maybe satan beckoning the Confederate soldiers into the gates of hell or something? (Removing them is clearly the best option though.)


I’ve seen an exact replica at a posh conference center in Rome, NY :slight_smile:

No offence, but this is the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

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Do Italian wolves actually look like that, or is it just kind of a generic four-legged animal :confused:

Give credit where it’s due: in an age before photographs or internet searches the sculptor did get the number of teats (eight) correct, and how many of us have been close enough to a wolf to count its teats?

The sculptor could have looked at a dead wolf.

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