Almost four hundred years ago, in the great Italian center of the arts, Florence, a block of the purest marble, seventeen feet high, lay on its side gathering dust in the workyard behind the cathedral. This block had originally been quarried at great expense for use in a large statue; but it had been damaged in the quarrying and the shipping. A great gouge had been made in the middle of the column. The sculptor thought he could make something of it anyway, but he proceeded to only to worsen the damage. He gave up on the rescue efforts in frustration, but not before his failure had been nicknamed for him in his dishonor — henceforth known as the “Duccio…
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