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Archaeologists in Pompeii find sensual fresco of queen and a swan

The swan denotes the god Jupiter while the queen, Leda, is mother of Helen of Troy as well as Castor and Pollux.

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An archeologist cleans up the fresco Leda And The Swan (Cesare Abbate/Ansa/AP)

An archeologist cleans up the fresco Leda And The Swan (Cesare Abbate/Ansa/AP)

An archeologist cleans up the fresco Leda And The Swan (Cesare Abbate/Ansa/AP)

Archaeologists have found in an ancient Pompeii bedroom a fresco depicting a sensual scene of a queen of Sparta with a swan.

Pompeii archaeological park director Massimo Osanna told Italian news agency Ansa on Monday that the figure of the queen, Leda being impregnated by a swan representing Roman god Jupiter is a fairly common theme in Pompeii home decoration.

But he praised this fresco as exceptional since the queen appears to look at whoever’s looking at the fresco.

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The fresco was discovered in Pompeii (Cesare Abbate/Ansa/AP)

The fresco was discovered in Pompeii (Cesare Abbate/Ansa/AP)

AP/PA Images

The fresco was discovered in Pompeii (Cesare Abbate/Ansa/AP)

Mr Osanna said: “Leda watches the spectator with a sensuality that’s absolutely pronounced.”

The fresco was discovered on Friday during ongoing work to consolidate the ancient city’s structures after rains and wear-and-tear in past years caused some ruins to collapse.

The flourishing ancient Roman city was buried by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

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Leda is an important figure in Greek mythology.

She was said to have borne children fathered by the god Zeus, the Greek version of Jupiter, and by a mortal king of Sparta.

According to myth, her children included the beautiful Helen of Troy and the twins Castor and Pollux.


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