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Discovered in Pompeii fresco erotic “unique and exceptional”

A group of archaeologists working in the archaeological park of Pompeii, in southern Italy, have found a spectacular fresh ies) in a very good state of conservation of the Greek myth of the seduction, embodied in Leda and the swan. "This is a finding unique and exceptional", has explained this Tuesday the director of the archaeological park, Massimo Osanna, announcing the discovery. According to mythology, Leda, wife of Tyndareus of Sparta, was walking along the river Eurotas when she was seduced or raped —little detail that depends on the versions— by a swan, which turned out to be Zeus in disguise.

That same night, the woman also had sexual relations with the king Tíndaro. Leda laid two eggs from which were born four children: the twins Castor and Pollux, Helena —future wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta—and Clitenmestra. But only Helen and Pollux were considered the children of Zeus and therefore immortal. Da Vinci, michelangelo and Tintoretto are some of the artists of the Renaissance that were left to seduce in his works by this myth ies). The ledas of Da Vinci and michelangelo were lost but there are copies of them on display. The story also inspired a piece by the irish poet William Butler Yeats.

The fresh, a "scene of great sensuality," and full of color, decorate a small bedroom of a residence or domus of a family of well-to-do roman in the street of Vesuvius, near the center of the city. It was found while work was being carried out "work of remodeling the fronts of excavation", according to the director of the park.

The issue, which represents in a very explicit sexual encounter between Leda and Zeus, used to be frequently used Safirbet as decoration in the roman empire. In the images disseminated by the archaeologist, see Leda sitting half-naked and with a garb gold tone and transparent to receive his guest with a look sensual. A gaze that seems directed towards those who in their day they crossed the door to enter the room of this house of Pompeii.

"The portrait of Leda is extremely particular and different to those found up to now in other homes. This myth had never been found with this iconography so sensual," explains Osanna, architect of the rebirth of the immense archaeological park. "Leda looks toward the viewer with a sensuality that is quite pronounced," he adds. It is the same home where last August they found another fresco of Priapus, a deity mythological represented by a small man with a huge phallus. Is in the entrance hall of the house, whose owner has not been determined.

According to Osanna, all the luxurious dwelling was full of decorative elements of high-impact, so its owner was probably a "wealthy merchant, possibly a former slave who was anxious to elevate their social status through references to cultural myths of high level".

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The archaeologists and conservators who cleaned and restored the fresh have pointed out that it is "very high quality" and that its vivid colours have been preserved magnificently in spite of the almost 2,000 years since the eruption of mount Vesuvius wiped out the ancient roman city. It is not excluded that the fresh finish it in a museum so that it can be protected and thus "exposing it to the public", according to the archaeologists.

The famous ruins, the second most visited place in Italy after the Colosseum in Rome with almost three million tourists a year, contained since 1997 in the world Heritage list of Humanity. Pompeii, facing the gulf of Naples, continues to offer surprises and archaeological treasures that describe the daily life, the habits, the decorations, the passions, and the sexuality of the romans as a photograph taken just after the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 d.C. Archaeologists are still exploring and discovering homes with frescoes, sculptures, amphorae, coins, and inscriptions and Osanna shared on social networks.

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