CIMRM Supplement - Stolen tauroctony. Veii, Italy.

Tauroctony, after cleaning. From Antikitera.

As found. From Antikitera.

In the barn. From Antikitera.

The barn in which it was hidden. By Proto Photos.

A 2nd century tauroctony, of white Carrara marble. Now exhibited in the museum of the Villa Giulia, location of the Museo Nazionale Etrusco, in Rome. It was found by the Italian tax police (Guardia di Finanza), together with 51 other antiquities, in a barn hidden behind bales of hay. Discovered by a farmer. Intended to be sold via a Swiss art dealer to a Japanese collector for 500,000 euros. Damaged by the mechanical arm of the crane. Weight 1500 Kg. Found in a house to the north of Rome in 17 June 2009.1 Dimensions 154 x 160 cms.2

The tauroctony depicts Mithras in the usual position, under the roof of the cave. The dog and snake leap up to lick the blood, the scorpion grasps the genitals. To the right, a torchbearer; to the left another, unusually facing away from the viewer and showing his back. Top left is Sol in his quadriga, with a star in front of the horses. The top right, which should show Luna in a biga, is missing.


1From: Dio Mitra e il toro salvati dai finanzieri (
2MiBAC, 16 Jul. 2009.

comments powered by Disqus