The Greek Mozia Charioteer is no longer vulnerable to attack from Roman warriors, but his marble statue may be shaken from its pedestal any day. One of Europe’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna, is only a few kms away at the other end of the island of Sicily
To safeguard the statue, money from the Getty Foundation is used to make a seismic isolation base, protecting Mozia in the likely event of an earthquake. Some structures are not as lucky as the Mozia sculpture and need crude structural support from the nearby volcanic threat.
The seismic isolation devices used are something like those to hold up buildings.
Today’s Italy Magazine tells the statue’s story: “After two years traveling around the world, the Mozia Charioteer statue has returned home to the tiny island of Mozia in Sicily, between Trapani and Marsala. Widely considered the finest surviving example of early Greek sculpture in the world, the Mozia Charioteer (also known as Giovinetto di Mozia in Italian) was carved 2,500 years ago and demonstrates the virtuosity and creativity attained in the arts of Sicily during the 5th century B.C. Expertly modeled, the subtle details, such as his pose, his direct outward gaze, the twisting of his body as he places his hand on the hip, reveal he was probably a victorious charioteer; he is also wearing the garment traditionally worn by charioteers. The statue was discovered in Mozia, once the site of a Carthaginian settlement off Sicily’s western coast, in 1979. It was on view at the British Museum in London and at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles among others. The Mozia Charioteer is on view at the Whitaker Museum on Mozia island.”