International Institute for Sport History
Library & Museum

A Pennsylvania non-profit corporation

Sculpture Gardens Endowment

(The Wrestlers)

Uffizi Gallery copy

The Wrestlers
Artist unknown, late 3rd century B.C.E.

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

The original statue was made in bronze and was lost in antiquity.
This is Roman copy, carved in marble, and is the only known copy to have survived to this day.
It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

The wrestlers were found in Rome near the gate of St. John Lateran in April, 1583, but the statue was restored with the wrong heads. The statue was acquired by Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici in 1677 and placed in the Tribune room in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The Uffizi Gallery was the world's first art museum founded in 1581 by the wealthy De Medici family of Florence. Although I have not found documentation yet, the US Wrestling Hall of Fame claims the artist was Cephisodotus but unfortunately there is almost no evidence relating to this piece of art. They have a green marble copy in their collection which was acquired in the 1970's, see their image here.

The IISOH will purchase either a marble or bronze copy of this statue, possibly both.
The benefactor can name this Sculpture Garden section which will be dedicated with
a marker engraved in stone (marble or granite) or cast in relief in bronze.

The image below shows a bronze cast that was made from the original marble statue in 1885. Located in a public park in Philadelphia, PA., the IISOH would love to obtain a similar casting but the French foundry that produced this copy went out of business in the 1950's.

The PANKRATION (Greek spelling) was a sport in the ancient Olympic Games that combined wrestling with boxing. The Latin word for the PANKRATION is Pancratium and you will frequently find this mis-spelled as Pancration. PANKRATION is pronounced as PAN - KRAT - EON. Many writers have incorrectly interpreted this sport as a brutal fight to the death. This is not true. Death from this sport was so rare that it is well documented in the ancient Greek literature. The most famous story described an athlete who died and yet he was declared the winner because his opponent signaled defeat just moments before death. Victory in the pankration was attained when the opponent signaled defeat. Because of this need to admit defeat the Spartans refused to participate in this Olympic event.

A modern version has emerged in the 21st century and is known as "mixed martial arts" although there have been several versions. Today's version has quite a few rules and includes gloves for the wrestler's hands to limit the brutality. Seen on television, the bouts are held inside cages and have proven to be quite popular. Perhaps one day it will make its way back into the Olympic Games.

Go to the ENDOWMENTS PAGE to see other artwork we want for the STATUARY GARDEN.

Go to the SUBJECT AREAS page to see other endowment ideas - a long but not necessarily complete list!

Other links to pages about the International Institute for Sport History

Articles of Incorporation | Bylaws | Board of Directors

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Building Plans

International Institute for Sport History
Library & Museum
PO Box 175
State College, PA, USA 16804

Mr. Harvey Abrams, President

The IISOH is a Pennsylvania non-profit educational, literary and
research corporation under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code

Donations are tax deductible
Federal Tax ID# 41-2041155

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This page was created on December 5, 2001
This page was updated on February 18, 2008
This page was updated February 10, 2013
This page was updated June 27, 2018