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Statue of Adam Breaks Apart as Stand Collapses at N.Y. Museum

October 09, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — A 15th century marble statue of Adam regarded as priceless toppled over at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and broke into dozens of pieces, the museum's director said Tuesday.

"An accident like this is a deep emotional loss," Philippe de Montebello said.

The life-size nude by Venetian sculptor Tullio Lombardo fell after its pedestal gave way, de Montebello said. The accident apparently happened after closing time Sunday, when a security guard heard a crash.

"It could have been a problem with its construction, or maybe [the pedestal] had just been moved too many times," he said.

Conservationists should be able to restore the statue, but the work could take as long as two years, De Montebello said.

The statue, dated 1490-95, came to the museum in 1936 and is part of its permanent collection, according to the museum's Web site.

The statue of Adam holding an apple was noted for the purity of its marble and its smooth, elegant carving.

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