Roman Bust Looted in WWII Bought for $35 at Texas Goodwill Store

An antiques dealer from Austin, Texas, made the find of a lifetime when a sculpture she purchased at a Goodwill store for $35 turned out to be a 2,000-year-old Julio-Claudian-era Roman bust.

The sculpture, which had been looted during the destruction of the Pompejanum museum in Aschaffenburg, Germany, during World War II, has now gone on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Laura Young said she purchased the 52-pound marble bust, standing at 19 inches tall, at Far West Goodwill in 2018. After bringing it home, she began researching its provenance and discovered through an auction house that it once belonged in the collection of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The bust depicts famed Roman commander Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, also known as Drusus Germanicus or Drusus the Elder.

According to the San Antonio Museum of Art, the bust was most likely brought to Texas by an American soldier stationed in Aschaffenburg.

The Bavarian Administration of State-Owned Palaces, Gardens, and Lakes, has agreed for the bust to remain on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art until its return to Germany in 2023, the museum said in a statement. Credit: Laura Young via Storyful

Video transcript

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