Why is this Discus Thrower statue (top picture), on display at the British Museum, looking at his feet? Answer: it’s head was wrongly restored. The copy of the Discus Thrower at the National Museum in Rome — the same copy on which my novel is based (bottom picture) — shows the proper positioning.
Both of these copies are based on an original Greek bronze, now lost, by an artist named Myron. We’ll never know for sure what an ideal, original Discobolus looked like, but for Ernst Vogler, the German art curator in my novel, the minor differences are exceptionally important and only the best artistic rendition can bring this marble image of vitality to life. In Vogler’s mind, the statue in the bottom picture is the real masterpiece. What he will do to transport it safely from Rome to Munich, despite the efforts of many to distract or deceive him? That’s the premise of The Detour.