In very happy news, I am pleased to relay that the famous statue of Nike found in Samothrake and currently on display in the Louvre in Paris, France, is getting a four million euro restoration. The restorations starts today, and are slated to be done by the end of June, 2014. The news comes courtesy of ANSAmed, and the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Although often considered a minor Goddess, Nike (Νίκη, pronounced 'ni-KÉ', unlike the sport's brand 'NÍ-kee'), winged Goddess of victory, had a privileged position in ancient Hellas; the same position She should have for any modern Hellenist who partakes in any type of competition, battle--medical, moral, political, judicial, social--who is looking for love, or is locked in some other type of struggle.

According to Hesiod, Nike was born one of four siblings: Her brothers Kratos (Κράτος, 'strength') and Zelus (Ζῆλος, 'zeal'), and her sister Bia (Βία, 'Force'). Their parents are Pallas and Styx. When the Titanomachy broke out, Zeus called out to everyone to take the side of the Theoi in the war. Styx answered the call and reported for duty along with Her children. Nike became Zeus' charioteer and is often depicted by His side for it. Along with Her siblings, Nike, was also a sentinel to Him, standing beside His throne. With Victory on His side, Zeus simply could not lose.

Nike is most often portrayed as a young woman with a billowy dress and beautiful wings attached to Her back. Both the statue of Zeus at Olympia and the statue of Athena at the Parthenon held a statue of Her in Their right hand. Two world famous statues of Her have survived more or less intact: the statue of Nike by the hand of Paeonius, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, as pictured above. The statue by Paeonis is on permanent exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, the Winged Victory has been located in the Louvre since 1883.

According to the Anna Lindh foundation, the restoration will not be about adding arms and a head:

"[T]he statue will be dismantled bloc by bloc, enabling renovators to clean the marble which has become darker with time. This will also enable to ascertain the state of conservation of the artwork and the assembling of various pieces as well as reintegrate fragments found over the past century and to re-build thanks to scientific analysis and 3D computer science, its history and location (with the programme of the Centre de Recherche et Restauration des Musees de France). A block of cement at the statue's feet added in 1934 to highlight the leaping effect will be removed. The objective is to give the whole monuments an aspect that is more faithful to the original version."

The last restoration was carried out between 1880 and 1884, when the right wing and left breast were rebuilt with plaster and a metal structure was created to keep together the garments of the left wing. After the restoration, the statue will be put back in its rightful place: atop the--by then, completely restored--staircase leading up from the entry hall of the Louvre. Progress on restoration work will be reported online at and a committee of experts will follow all the phases. The operation is worth 4 million euros, one more than originally scheduled, of which three will be provided by sponsors. The Louvre has called on companies and private donors to provide funding for the rest of the money with the campaign 'Tous mecenes!'.