‘The Enchanted Ones’ or “Las Incantadas” will bestow their “magic” and radiance on Thessaloniki. They are arriving for the 80th TIF anniversary event to be exhibited to the public as of 5 September at Pavilion 3, Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. After 151 years, copies of the monumental statues are returning to Thessaloniki, following an initiative by TIF-HELEXPO, to make the 80th TIF anniversary event a very special one.
The monument named ‘The Enchanted Ones’ or ‘Idols’, or ‘Las Incantadas’ in Ladino (a Judeo-Spanish dialect), was probably part of an important public building in the centre of Roman Thessaloniki and dates back to the late 2nd or early 3rd century A.D. It must have been located somewhere along what is present-day Aristotelous Street, between the church of Panagia Chalkeon, ‘Paradisos’ Baths (Bay Hamam) and the church of Agios Nikolaos.
In 1864 French palaeography scholar Emmanuel Miller, with the permission of the Ottoman government, despite the general negative reaction of the city’s population, took down the monument, violently cutting it into pieces, and transported the statues to France, where they are now on display at the Louvre Museum.