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A woman who purchased a white marble sculpture of a human head at a Goodwill store was shocked to discover its real age and value.
Laura Young, an antique dealer from Austin, Texas bought the 50-pound bust back in 2018 at a bargain price of $34.99 and strapped it passenger seat of her car with a seatbelt to take home, KUT reported.
She noticed her new purchase was "clearly antique - clearly old," and was keen to learn more about the sculpture so Young got in touch with an auction house in London where they identified the bust to be a portrait of Drusus Germanicus, a Roman general.
They also revealed that the bust was really old (we're talking over 2,000 years old) and its last known location was in the 1920s and 30s at the Pompejanum, a museum in the German city of Aschaffenburg which was built in the 1840s by the then-King Ludwig the First.
Near the end of World War II, the Nazis and US Army fought each other in Aschaffenburg in the spring of 1945 and as a result, the museum suffered substantial damage from the bombing.
"We know that many of the objects [in the museum] were either destroyed in the Allied bombing campaign or looted afterward," Stephennie Mulder, an art history professor at UT Austin, toldKUTand added how a US solider may have looted the bust himself or bought it off someone else who looted the item.
The bust's whereabouts remained a mystery ever since - that is until it randomly showed up in a Goodwill in Austin of all places where Young purchased it.
But now the origins of the piece have been discovered, the antique dealer realised she couldn't keep it nor sell it so contacted a lawyer in New York who specializes in international art law where negotiations began to try to get it back to Germany.
However, this process has taken a long time - much longer than anticipated thanks to the Covid pandemic and during this time it meant that Young was able to keep the bust on display in her house.
In 2018, someone decided they didn't want it \u2014 maybe the owner died or gave it away. \n\nThey took it to Goodwill.\n\nWhich brings us back to Laura Young. Now she's got a looted artifact she can't sell, can't keep and getting it back to its rightful owners is harder than it sounds...pic.twitter.com/JEhFa3vPiQ