A mysterious sculpture ~ thought by some experts to predate the pyramids of Egypt ~ is being displayed publicly for the first time in hopes of attracting international attention and fresh insights into its origins.
No expert among the many consulted over the past decade can identify the sculpture's age or artistic tradition, nor can they decipher the "ancient, yet unidentifiable language" etched into the artwork.
The large limestone object depicting two entwined and perhaps emaciated figures, "could be one of the rarest finds of its kind," according to Clarence Epstein of Montreal’s Concordia University.
The two nude subjects ~ one a male and the other possibly a female holding a child ~ are depicted in a sitting position with abnormally large heads and elongated limbs. It was brought to Canada in the 1940s by Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos, Greek immigrants from France who had amassed a world-class collection of antiquities gathered from Egypt, Israel and other ancient sites. The family's vast collection was donated about 10 years ago to Concordia.
The Diniacopouloses considered the mysterious sculpture the centerpiece of their collection. And while there is little documentation about the artwork's provenance, the couple had listed the object under the title "The Starving of Saqqara," referring to one of Egypt's largest burial grounds.