Posted by: Valentino Radman | March 30, 2010

The Apoxiomen has arrived in Zadar

As of today, Hellenistic bronze statue  The Apoxiomen (Apoxyómenos) – also known as ‘The athlete after exercise’ – is on display in Zadar.  It will be exhibited here until October.

The Apoxiomen is a statue of a young athlete shown scraping the dust and oil from his body with a a small curved metal instrument that the Romans called a strigil.  In the days before soap, perfumed oil was applied to the skin and then the strigil was used to scrape it off, drawing the dirt and sweat from the body along with the oil.

Covered with thick encrustations and algae the statue was discovered in 1996 on the sandy seabed south-east from the island of Lošinj. The experts have dated the sculpture to a century after the original (which was made by Alexander the Great’s court sculptor Lysippus), when copies started appearing across the Mediterranean. Croatian Apoxiomen is ranked seventh in the world, and it is singled out for its high level of preservation and the fact that the original bronze base of the statue was preserved. The painstaking restoration lasted 5 years. During the process The Apoxiomen was not treated chemically, nor with any abrasive agent. The thick calcific crust was removed mechanically, by hand (!).

The Croatian Apoxiomen is one of the eight preserved Hellenistic copies from the second and first centuries B.C. The height of statue is 1,92 m and it weighs 180 kg. This impressive Hellenistic bronze has been exhibited in  Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek, Split and Florence (in Palazzo Medici Riccardi).

More photos here.


I have just returned form the opening of the exhibition. Here are some of the photos which I took there. Click for enlargement.

Behind The Apoxiomen is Mr. Antonio Šerbetić, expert who has cleaned up and restored the statue using magnifying glass, small diamond chisels and godsmith’s micro chisels. The restoration process took five years.

Note where the people look, each at a different spot 🙂



  1. Wish you had some close ups of this sculpture. How did it end up in a sea bed I’m wondering.

  2. If you click on the image it will enlarge into a pretty big photo. For additional images see here:

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