Quirigua: Monument 5

Quirigua: Stela E North and South Sides [January 8, 2004]

"In both cases, he holds a manikin scepter across the chest in the right hand, and a small round shield in the left. Although the nose has disappeared, the facial portrait on the northern side is the best preserved at Qirigua. Before it vanished, this particular nose enjoyed a famous career. It first became detached while a mold was being taken in 1883 during Maudslay's third expedition. Maudslay had the nose cemented in place, and it remained there until 1917, when Monument 5, radically leaning ever since its discovery, finally slumped to the ground after a severe flood. The nose was apparently dislodged in the fall, but Sylvanus G. Morley subsequently rescued the errant appendage. It was finally reattached using a metal tenon when the stela was re-erected in 1934, by Gustav Stromsvik. Incidentally, this operation resulted in the breaking of Monument 5, just beneath Cauac Sky's chin--close examination can still discern the crack and repair--when the A-frame use to hoist the heavy sclpture gave way, dropping it to the ground. But in spite of these adventures, the fabled nose vanished sometime after it was replaced in 1934, so that Cauac Sky's best preserved likeness remains blemished."

Robert J. Sharer, Quirigua: A Classic Maya Center & Its Sculptures, Carolina Academic Press, 1990, p. 36