Greek sculpture now in the Vatican of Laocoön, priest of Apollo, who warned the Trojans not to touch the Wooden Horse. The discovery of The Laocoön in Rome in 1506 influenced Italian Renaissance art, notably Michelangelo, who is known to have been impressed by the massive scale of the work and its sensuous Hellenistic style.
When discovered, the right arm was missing, prompting a debate as to how it would have been. Michelangelo suggested it bent back behind the head. Pope Julius II held an informal competition to decide on a position, to be judged by Raphael. The winner, in an outstretched position, was attached to the statue.
In 1957 the original right arm was found in a builders yard in Rome – it was in the position suggested by Michelangelo and it was attached to the statue.
A full-size plaster cast of the sculpture resides in the Museum Schloss Hohentübingen, Tubingen and because it pre-dates the 1957 discovery, shows the arm in the wrong position.
The sculpture was seized by Napoleon Bonaparte after his conquest of Italy in 1799 and taken to Paris where it was placed in the Louvre. After the fall of Napoleon it was returned by the British to the Vatican in 1816.