20150501 The Getty Kouros by Cosmo Wenman

“One of those two Zippo lighters was in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s pocket when he was assassinated. And one wasn’t. One has historicity, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object ever had. And one has nothing. Can you feel it? … You can’t. You can’t tell which is which. There’s no ‘mystical plasmic presence,’ no ‘aura’ around it.” —Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

“If authentic, the kouros is one of the most important works of ancient art to enter the United States since World War II. But it has no documented history, or provenance … [As] the kouros illustrates, objectivity is a chimera, even in this age of electron microscopy, thermoluminescence and carbon-14 dating.”—The New York Times, 1991

Statue of a Kouros
Greek, about 530 B.C., or modern forgery—The J. Paul Getty Museum

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