SARGON OF AKKAD
BRONZE HEAD OF AN ASSYRIAN KING
I first came across photos of Sargon in the Louvre in Paris in my student days and have had a fascination for this piece of sculpture ever since. The bronze head of the Assyrian king was discovered by rival Babylonian soldiers who defaced it by cutting off its ears and gouging out one of its eyes. Despite this it remains a beautiful piece of art. The original disappeared from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad during the Gulf War and has never resurfaced. It was widely believed that it had been looted either by locals or American soldiers, however the British Museum held a view that Saddam Hussein had it removed and put in a bank vault in Baghdad for safe keeping.
I travelled to Baghdad twice around the time of the invasion of Kuwait hoping to catch a glimpse of the piece however it was not possible to gain access to the museum. I finally collaborated with an Iranian artist Mohammed Khalili in Karaj and we sculpted as close as we could get to a perfect replica using a collection of old photographs and sketches of the original. The piece was then sent to the Arch Bronze foundry in London to be cast in bronze. A limited edition of just 5 pieces was made of which one is available for sale.
The sculpture is 40cm tall on its stand and weighs 8 kilos.