Woman Learns Sculpture She Purchased From Goodwill In 2018 Is Actually An Ancient Roman Bust

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A Texas woman who purchased a sculpture at Goodwill in 2018 for $34.99 learned that the art piece is actually an ancient Roman bust, San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday.

Laura Young, an antiques dealer, purchased the sculpture at a Goodwill in northwest Austin, the San Antonio Express-News reported. She said that the find looked “special” and that she thought the sculpture “looked Roman,” according to the outlet. Jörg Deterling, a consultant with Sotheby’s fine arts company, examined the piece and determined it was a marble Julio-Claudian-era Roman bust.


The bust is believed to possibly depict Sextus Pompey and dates back to somewhere between the late first century BC to the early first century AD, the outlet reported.

The bust allegedly disappeared from Germany following World War II, with the earliest record of its existence showing it as belonging to King Ludwig I of Bavaria’s art collection via an 1883 inventory, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The king supposedly displayed his art collection, including the Roman bust, in Aschaffenburg in a full-scale model of a house from Pompeii, which he called the “Pompejanum.” (RELATED: 16th Century Bell Stolen By Nazis Set To Be Returned To Poland)

The “Pompejanum” sustained damage during World War II when Allied bombers targeted Aschaffenburg, the outlet reported. It was unclear how the ancient Roman bust wound up in Texas.

Young spent years verifying the bust’s authenticity and notified the German government of the find, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The bust reportedly will remain in Texas until May 2023, when it will be returned to the Bavarian Administration of State-owned Palaces.

The bust went on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art on Wednesday, according to NBC News.