Located 50 km from the town of Sciacca, Mazara del Vallo surprises tourists for its historic center, whose typical features reminiscent of Islamic culture (the Casbah), whose narrow streets are a kind of trademark. Just right in the center is the Museum of the Dancing Satyr
Just right in the center, there is the Museum of the Dancing Satyr. It is set in the sixteenth-century Church of St. Egidio, in the heart of the historic center. The famous statue was rescued at 500 meters deep in the Sicilian Channel, in March 1998, off the coast of Mazara del Vallo. It represents a satyr, one of the mythological figures of orgiastic procession accompanying Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. The sculptor has set in the bronze the moment when the mythological figure is about to make a leap. The head is thrown back, the locks of hair in the wind and her eyes looking upward. The statue dates back two thousand and four hundred years ago; it weighs one hundred and eight pounds, and is six feet and eight centimeters high. These are the characteristics of this very important “bronze” attributed to Praxiteles.
Only on July 12 2003, after a long restoration, the satyr was officially handed over to the authorities of the city of Mazara del Vallo to be exposed to the public at the Museum of the Dancing Satyr. In 2005 he was transported to Japan to be exhibited at the Tokyo National Museum and consequently Expo 2005 in Aichi. In early 2007 the statue was temporarily at the Louvre Museum in Paris, as part of an exhibition dedicated to the works of Praxiteles.
In the museum there are also Mazarese archaeological excavations and research campaigns that took place in the waters off the Sicilian coast: amphorae dating from the second or third century BC, a shaft of the column of late Roman, a medieval flask and a lot of other objects.
The museum is located in Piazza Plebiscito, Mazara del Vallo, and is open daily from 9:00 to 18:00.