Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, welcomes the discovery of new sculptures and architectural elements from the recent underwater excavations of the Rhône in Arles.

These recent discoveries, including a life-size marble head of the god Mars, as well as an imposing draped statue probably belonging to a magistrate of the city and many other fragments of statues and architectural elements, confirm the exceptionally rich character of the right bank of the river. It continues to be explored in order to better understand the history and river past of the ancient city of Arles.

These sculptures complete an extraordinary collection of about a hundred objects uncovered in 2007 and 2008 by the same team of archaeologists of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, Department of Underwater and Underwater Archaeological Research (DRASSM), including ancient sculptures, marble faces of gods and goddesses, bronze statues and architectural elements, dating from Roman times.

In front of the public interest, three of these remarkable objects including the bronze victory, the warrior or captive in bronze and the marble bust of Caesar, identified as a realistic portrait of Julius Caesar, have been the subject of an exhibition in the salons of the Ministry of Culture and Communication on the occasion of the last European Heritage Days. An important exhibition «César, le Rhône pour mémoire» will present all these discoveries to the public from 24 October 2009 at the departmental museum of Arles Antique.