The famous Kouroi of Klenia

In 2010, two Kouroi were confiscated from antiquity smugglers at the modern village Klenia in Corinthia. The illegal excavators demonstrated the site, where they had found the statues, and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinthia immediately launched an archaeological research at the area. The excavation brought to light the missing pieces from the Kouroi, as well as an extensive cemetery. The statues were created in 530 – 520 B.C. They are made of Parian marble and were placed one next to the other at a visible point in the cemetery. A low tumulus covered two sarcophagi of poros limestone, sharing the same pit. They contained the bones of two men. The dental analysis showed that both young men had died at around 35 years of age. The twin Kouroi are the only archaic burial statue group found in the Helladic area.


From the hands of looters to their restoration

These two unique statues were found broken into parts, as they were violently drug from the place on which they were found. It is probable that an agricultural machine also caused severe damage on the heads and chests of the statues.
After they were confiscated by the General Police Directorate of Attica, they were transferred to the National Archaeological Museum, where they were hosted for more than fifteen months.
In mid August 2011, the two statues were brought back to their land of origin and placed in the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, in order to be exhibited next to other finds from the cemetery of Klenia, excavated by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinthia.




After their celebratory return, their initial conservation began. Samples were taken and analyzed for the identification of the material and encrustations on the surfaces of the monuments, so that a proper treatment is selected. At the same time their state of preservation was documented with methods of photogrammetry.
Later on a “Conservation study” was issued by the conservators of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Corinthia Argyro Tsigri, Vlassios Delistathis and Eufrosyne Koumboula.

For the safe restoration of the statues, their static settlement, the mending of the broken parts and the designing of an earthquake-proof pedestal, a “Welding study for the broken parts and the pedestal of the Kouroi” was issued by the civil engineers Alkimos Papathanasiou, Aggelos Zagkotsis and the architect – conservator Nikolaos Kyriakopoulos. The task was completed thanks to the contribution of the civil engineer and employee of the Directorate of Restoration of Ancient Monuments Dr Eleni – Eva Toumbakari, and the Directorate of Conservation of Ancient and Modern Monuments.
The mending of the broken parts of the two Kouroi and their restoration in the new gallery of the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, entitled “Corinth, a powerful city-state, was implemented by the conservator Christos Stefanidis and the sculptor Athanasios Gkritzapis.
The “Welding study for the broken parts and the pedestal of the Kouroi” as well as its implementation were funded by the Prefecture of the Peloponnese.