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Andrea della Robbia’s Madonna and Child with God the Father and Cherubim, ca. 1470-75, installed by the admissions desks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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THE DELLA ROBBIA DEBACLE
by Paul Jeromack



Accidents will happen, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art seems to have an unfortunate knack for smashing its most beautiful Italian Renaissance sculptures. On Oct. 8, 1990, its most precious marble sculpture of the period, Tullio Lombardo’s life-size Adam (Venetian, 1490-95) -- considered to be the first monumental sculpture of a nude in the Renaissance -- collapsed and broke into pieces when its hollow plywood base buckled under its weight.

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