Looted from the Nazis during World War II and nearly 75 years later purchased in a Texas Goodwill by a vintage bargain hunter for $35, a 2,000-year-old Roman bust will soon return home.

Laura Young, who owns Temple of Vintage, an online resale shop, found the bust in 2018 in a Goodwill in Austin. Once home with her fantastic find, Young discovered with the help of a consultant at Sotheby’s that the ancient bust was a sculpture of one of Julius Caesar’s greatest enemies. The bust was once owned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and most likely looted from the Nazis by American soldiers during World War II. How it ended up in Austin is anyone’s guess.

It’s next stop, however, is not. The bust will remain on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art until May 21 and then be sent back to Europe, where it will either be on display in its original location in Aschaffenburg, Germany, or at the Munich Glyptothek Museum with the rest of Ludwig I’s collection, a spokesperson for the Glyptothek museum said.

Goodwill hunter Young calls the experience “bittersweet.”

“I knew I couldn’t keep or sell the (bust),” Young said. “I’m glad I got to be a small part of (its) long and complicated history.” An added bonus? “He looked great in the house while I had him.”


Laura Young with the ancient Roman bust she found at Goodwill.

Laura Young with the ancient Roman bust she found at Goodwill. The 2,000-year-old bust will return to Germany in May. Image courtesy of Laura Young via Instagram.

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