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Appriciani and its mysterious statue-menhir

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

The statue

After Tavera and Filitosa, this is 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 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 statue. But he had no more informations! So he decided to ask people. People didn’t know...

Finally, a man on his horse came and said: "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.

Hairs, with a kind of part, hung 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 noticed shoulder blades, as other statues-menhir in Corsica. The old man said to Mérimée 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. This huge menhir used to keep the dead man’s soul inside the stone for eternity...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!