I must take care of my wife

From Treasures of the British Museum on the Townley Collection:

The bust was purchased from Prince Laurenzano at Naples in 1772 and was Charles Townley’s favourite sculpture.  It is related that when, as a Roman Catholic, he was obliged to flee from the London mob at the time of the bloody Gordon riots (1780) his priorities were such that he secured his cabinet of gems, then taking Clytie in his arms with the words ‘I must take care of my wife’, ‘he left his house, casting one last, longing, look at the marbles which, as he feared, would never charm his eyes again’.


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