Is this forgotten statue a real Michelangelo? See the controversial statue that's shocking the art world!

Written by Jeppe W

Oct.18 - 2023 9:59 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

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Hidden within Rome's Villa Ludovisi is a debated statue: a life-sized Greek god Pan with a prominent 8-inch phallus. Once cherished by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, the statue's appeal faded over the centuries.

In 2010, Professor Corey Brennan from Rutgers University stumbled upon the statue, now in public view.

Princess Rita Jenrette Boncompagni Ludovisi, the villa's steward, claimed it was a Michelangelo creation, a belief rooted in her family's history.

Though the statue's Michelangelo origin was accepted in the 1830s, 19th-century German scholars challenged this.

The mystery deepened in 2022 when Hatice Köroglu Çam, a student under Professor Brennan, discovered old sketches and documents suggesting Michelangelo's hand in its creation.

The art world remains divided. Is it a forgotten Michelangelo or just a striking resemblance? The debate continues.

See the statue below and judge for yourself!

The so-called Ludovisi Pan: Corey T. Brennan

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