Nike of Samothrace Exact Replica in Alexandroupolis awaits Transfer to Home Island

Aegean Sea island of Samothrace, Greece. (Photo: Eurokinissi/Thanasis Kaliaras, File)

An exact replica of the iconic marble sculpture of Nike of Samothrace, one of the most spectacular exhibits in the Museum of the Louvre, has been placed on the coastal avenue of Alexandroupolis temporarily, before it is transferred to the island of Samothrace in a few months’ time.

Following fruitless negotiations with Louvre for the return of the statue to Greece, vice-governor of Evros region Dimitris Petrovic told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the late regional councellor George Pavlidis and himself requested two exact, 3D replicas from the Louvre. “The idea to ask the Louvre Museum for a 3D digitised archive in order to construct a faithful copy was born in 2012 when we visited the museum of Samothrace,” Petrovic said, and the regional councillors found out that the copy of Nike showcased in the museum was of very poor quality.

The request to Louvre for the archives to construct two exact certified copies of the statue “was accepted on conditions,” Petrovic told ANA.

“The copy of the Nike of Samothrace was constructed with marble from Thassos island at a factory in Drama and its dimensions are exactly the same as the original’s; it weighs 6.5 tonnes,” he said. It was funded by Elias Kyriakides, owner of a large marble company who had the appropriate robotics to sculpt the replica.

It took three months to outline the sculpting points on a marble block weighing 18 tonnes, he said. “It then required another three months and two School of Tinos marble craftsmen to sculpt out the details, completing the beautiful copy in the summer of 2018,” the Evros official told ANA. The local marble is particularly durable to open-air weather, Petrovic noted.

The first replica will remain in the Alexandroupolis prefecture courtyard, on the coastal avenue, until its base is prepared on the island by the Archaeological Service.