The Body if Naples bears witness to Egypt


The statue near piazza San Domenico Maggiore dedicated to the sacre driver of Egypt may once have been that of a woman in a languid classical pose, but today it depicts a bearded old man lyng on the water, holding a cornucopia abd surrounded by oriental motifs. When it was unearthed in the 15th century, ist head was missing and it was probably given a bearded face by the Aragonese monarchs who placed it here to embellish the small “Noble’s Parliament”. The Parliament house was destroyed in the 17th century but “the Reclining Nile” survived. No one knows what the original head was like and this perhaps explain why the statue has two names. Neapolitan folklore claims that the “Nile” statue represents a maternal figure of Naples suckling her children, hence the “Body of Naples” also the name of the small piazza where the statue is situated. The “Reclining Nile” is the only artifact left by an ancient colony of Egyptian merchants who settled here in the 2nd century AD but the statue was decapitated when the Egyptians left. 12 centuries later it was discovered once again and became a cult object in Naples, a city in the crossroads of culture and race. [charme-gallery]