When museums looked down their noses, they created a Nasothek

Museums found that their noses runneth over.  So some created a Nasothek.


Aging Humans tend to lose their hair first.  With Classical statues, it’s the nose.

In the 19th-century museums “fixed” this by replacing broken or lost noses with restoration proboscises.

Antique statues are especially likely to be affected, so many Greek or Roman statues got nose jobs during this era.

The new appendages were fashioned out of marble or plaster and affixed to the statues to make them whole.

In the 20th century, preservationists decided that adding parts hundreds of years later actually ruined the authenticity of those ancient statues.

So they “de-restored” their collections, removing fake noses and appendages from sculptures to which they’d been affixed for decades.

As a result, many Roman portrait heads are noseless again.

Fake nose, not news

Some museums collect the superfluous proboscises into displays of their own.  There’s even a word for this: A collection of noses is a Nasothek.

The English description says:

“The word nasothek means a collection of noses, in analogy with discotheque, a collection of records”

Not to be sniffed at.

If you ever have a chance, check out the Nasothek at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

Via: futility closet

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