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15th-Century Nude Statue of Adam Shatters at the Met

NEW YORK, 9 October 2002 - A 15th-century sculpture of Adam by Venetian master Tullio Lombardo fell to the floor and shattered sometime over the past weekend in the Velez Blanco Patio of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Discovered on the floor at the base of its pedestal by a museum guard, the broken pieces of the priceless nude figure include its arms, legs and an ornamental tree trunk intertwined with a serpent and a grapevine.

Dated from 1490 to 1495, the nude sculpture was once part of a tomb made for the Venetian doge Andrea Vendramin, where it was paired with a figure of Eve.

While museum authorities do not suspect vandalism, a complete investigation is under way. Musuem conservationists expect to be able to restore the 6-foot 3-inch life-size nude so that only trained professionals will detect the restoration. Met curators hope to present Adam to the public again in about two years.

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