Louvre Winged Bulls

Louvre Winged Bulls
Louvre Winged Bulls

In different sites of the great cities of the Assyrian Empire, in the region of Mesopotamia, these types of hybrid figures have been found with bodies of bulls, wings of eagles and heads of being human A magnificent example would be the Winged Bulls of Nimrud that today are in the British Museum in London, or those in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. And another sample may be those exhibited by the Louvre Museum in Paris, which in this case come from the city of Khorsabad, where they were found in the palace of King Sargon II, and whose age is dates back to the 8th century BC.


Louvre Winged Bull

These types of figures in Assyrian mythology were called Lammasu, and their function was to protect their owners, since they were thought to be capable of detecting both evil spirits such as evil men who approached the doors where they settled.

With that intention he would place them Sargon II before his royal palace at Khorsabad. A lavish work that he had built near the city ofNinevehand that he called Dur-Sharrukin, which can be translated as the citadel of Sargon. In fact, the entire construction, including the Lammasu, came to be a display of his great power, since we are before some very large winged bulls with respect to others, reaching a height of more than 4 meters.

However, that building was only occupied for a year. Sargon himself died there, whose body was never found. But his successor abandoned that fantastic building, and that is why over the centuries it became a fabulous archaeological site that the French knew how to excavate for their benefit. For this reason, these winged bulls have been in the Parisian Louvre since the 19th century.

Archaeologists unearthed from the Palace of Sargon up to four winged bulls. But not all of them made it to France, as one fell during transport into the Tigris River and sank there.

Anyway, that colonialist and European way of taking works of art from other territories, in this case Iraq, was common in those years. And although today it would not be seen with good eyes, the truth is that in this case it can be considered a success, since in recent years these types of works preserved in their original locations have suffered brutal attacks and destruction by the of religious fundamentalists who absurdly consider these works of art with millennia of history to be pagan symbols and therefore must destroy.

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