May 9, 2022 - News

Texas thrift-store find turns out to be Roman relic

Sculpture buckled into a car seat.
The sculpture, buckled into a car seat, after it was puchased at the Goodwill in Austin. The price tag is visible on the bust's right cheek. Photo courtesy of Laura Young

A museum-quality ancient Roman sculpture was sold at an Austin thrift store for less than a pair of pizzas.

Driving the news: A bust priced at $34.99 and purchased at the Goodwill on Far West Boulevard several years ago turned out to be a Roman relic and is now on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

  • The sculpture will eventually be returned to its home in Germany.

What they're saying: The sculpture "was on a small credenza close to the entryway of our house," Laura Young, who bought it before learning its provenance, told KUT. "Facing the TV. So you could see his reflection in the TV when you're watching TV."

Laura Young with sculpture
Laura Young with the sculpture she discovered on the floor beneath a table at the Goodwill on Far West. She nicknamed him Dennis. Photo courtesy Laura Young
  • The sculpture, which Young named "Dennis," after Dennis Reynolds, a character in the TV show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" — likely ended up in Texas because an American service member laid hands on it during World War II, according to experts.
  • For the discovery of the sculpture and its return to Germany, Young will receive a "small finder's fee," her lawyer told The New York Times.
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