This exquisite ivory and gold figurine has been an icon of the ROM collection since she was acquired in 1931, but she has also attracted huge controversy. When she was bought by the ROM, she was believed to be a rare example of a female bull-leaper from the Minoan civilisation of Bronze Age Crete. She was authenticated by Arthur Evans, the authority on the Minoans, who made comparisons with Bronze Age ivory figurines he excavated at the Minoan palace of Knossos. However, with no known archaeological findspot, and only a vague collection history before she came to the museum, she was soon condemned by some scholars as a modern forgery. She was associated with several other suspect `Minoan` figurines made of stone and ivory that appeared on the art market in the early 20th century.
Dr Kate Cooper is currently studying the ROM figurine to determine just what we can say about the authenticity of the ROM figurine in the light of new examination. Joining Kate to talk about the fascinating story of the ROM goddess will be Dr. Ken Lapatin from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Dr Lapatin has long studied ancient gold and ivory figurines, and is author of Mysteries of the Snake Goddess, an exposé of the early 20th century 'Minoan' figurines in several museums around the world.
To ask questions during the hangout you can do so by tagging @ROMtoronto or @ROMAncient with #AskROM. The Q&A feature will also be available on Google+ to add your questions live.
For more information on the ROM's 'Minoan' Goddess, see the research page here.