May 6 (UPI) — A Texas antiques dealer bought a bust for $34.99 from a thrift store and later learned it was a 2,000-year-old Roman relic.
Laura Young said she was at the Goodwill store in Austin in 2018 when she spotted the bust with a $34.99 price tag.
“The head was on the floor under a display table,” Young told KTRK-TV. “It definitely looked old. It was carved marble.”
Young bought the 52-pound bust and brought it home, snapping photos of the statue riding in the back seat of her car.
Young later researched the bust and discovered it was a Julio-Claudian-era piece depicting Roman commander Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, also known as Drusus Germanicus or Drusus the Elder.
“He’s probably the coolest thing I’m ever going to find,” Young said. “The most special. There’s a lot of history.”
Young shared her discovery with friends at a London auction house, who confirmed her discovery.
The bust was later found to have been listed in a 100-year-old catalog from a German art museum. The bust apparently was brought to the United States by a World War II soldier.
The piece will be displayed at the San Antonio Museum of Art for one year before returning to Germany.
“It hurt a little bit. It was bittersweet. Like, it’s nice that there’s a resolution to it and that it’s working out for the best,” Young told KUT-FM. “It’ll be a little bittersweet to see him in the museum, but he needs to go home. He wasn’t supposed to be here.”