Appriciani and its mysterious statue-menhir

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The statue - ©Img / Public domain The statue - ©Img / Public domain
Appriciani statue-menhir Megalith Statue Prosper Mérimée

The statue

After Tavera and Filitosa, here’s another Corsican place with "statue-menhir". This one is an anthropomorphous statue, about 2 metres high. Described for the first time by historian and writer Prosper Mérimée when he made his little archaeological trip in Corsica (he drew his inspiration from this land for his novel Colomba). And the least you can say is the statue was hard to find!

A legend says that a young shepherdess came here for a walk. She had to help her mother to put the washing out to dry. But... she was lazy and preferred to stroll along. Very upset, the mum shouted at his daughter: "Oh, go to hell, with you washing!" And the girl immediately became petrified...

Mérimée’s discovery

Mérimée didn’t easily find the statue. He wrote that first, he was looking for a knight’s statue. But he had no more informations! So he decided to ask people. But people didn’t know, they never heard about that kind of statue...

Finally, a man on his horse came and asked: "You’re looking for a knight? Never heard about that! On the other hand, I can show you the idolo dei Mori..." A strange effigy, better than 1 000 knights!

Curious, Mérimée followed the man to the statue; there, in front of him, he discovered a "granite table", in fact... the statue he was looking for! It was deeply buried in the soil. The top of the statue looked like a human face, with eyes, mouth, nose and a beard shape to a point.

Hairs, with a kind of part, hang on each part of the face. On the lower part, the sculptor made the chest. Below, the stone was smooth. On the back, surprise! We notice shoulder blades, as others statues-menhir in Corsica. The old man said to Mérimée that it was the idolo dei Mori, the "Moorish idol". Moorish?

Mérimée thought it was an Iberian of Ligurian effigy. Renan, Breton writer and historian, thought it was a grave’s cover. So, who's right? In fact, this statue is probably a prehistoric one, a kind of funerary monument, like in Filitosa. So, this huge menhir used to keep the dead man’s soul inside the stone for eternity...

And also!