In 1967 the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts acquired a monumental statue of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. The statue had once belonged to the famous 17th-century Italian collector Vincenzo Giustiniani (1564–1637), who displayed it with his extensive collection of ancient art. But in the late 1960s, scholars questioned whether any or all of the statue had actually been carved in antiquity. Eventually, VMFA took the statue off public view and placed it in storage. In 2007 the museum undertook a comprehensive research campaign using scientific and art historical methods to determine whether or not the statue is a work of ancient art.