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Emperor Constantine's hand reunited with finger after more than 500 years apart

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By Mark Armstrong with AP
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Emperor Constantine's hand reunited with finger after more than 500 years apart
Copyright  AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
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A missing index finger from a giant statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine has been reunited with the hand it came from after over 500 years.

The fragment finally arrived at Rome's Capitoline Museum from the Louvre in Paris.

It had been revealed as a missing part of Constantine's hand in 2018 when a 3D model was brought to Rome and proved to be a perfect fit. It had at one time been catalogued as a toe.

With the arrival of the actual bronze, finger experts examined it carefully to check it hadn't suffered further damage.

"So we are going to take a close look at all the elements to check it was well conserved on its journey," explained Francoise Gaultier, Director of the Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities at the Louvre.

The index finger has now been reunited with the hand.

The statue is still far from perfectly preserved, but then it does date back to 1471 - none of us would look much good after 550 years.

What does remain can be viewed at the museum in the halls of the Exedra Marcus Aurelius exhibition.