Current Affairs "Persian goddess" leaves Czech archaeologists red-faced

14-09-2005 14:47 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech archaeologists are keeping a very low profile this week after it emerged that a find which they claimed to be the statuette of a Persian Goddess dating back to the fifth century was nothing but a five year old fake allegedly created by teenagers for fun.

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'Persian goddess Anahita', photo: CTK'Persian goddess Anahita', photo: CTK The find made international headlines last Friday when Czech archaeologists announced they had found "a unique seal" in the form of the Persian fertility goddess Anahita. The "precious find" was unearthed near an ancient burial ground dating back to the period of the movement of nations in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and specialists in the field speculated that the object may have been brought to this country from Iran by a high ranking officer of the Roman or Byzantine army.

That was until a Czech pensioner told journalists that the Persian goddess everyone was admiring was not a Persian goddess but a kitsch plaster figurine of a nun seeming to meditate, but if you look under her skirt, she is actually doing something completely different... Moreover it had not come here from far away Iran but had only crossed a few miles from his own back yard.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK Needless to say journalists arrived on his doorstep within the hour and the 72 year old retired craftsman brought out his mould and produced an identical replica before their eyes. He said he had created the mould in 1968 from a figurine left to him by his brother who worked in a ceramics factory. The figurine of a nun with an erotic motif was an instant hit among his friends so he used the mould to make statuettes for them. The statuette that came into the hands of Czech archaeologists was one that his teenage grandchildren had attempted to make - and because they weren't happy with the way it came out they threw it into the council skip.

So the Persian Goddess - turned naughty nun - has once again made headlines and the entire nation is enjoying the joke. There's just one more thing that our esteemed archaeologists should know about - originally the figurine of the nun had a twin -in the form of a meditating monk. That's just in case they should come across something else of immense archaeological importance.

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