3,000-year-old lion guarding ancient gate complex

August 9th, 2011

A University of Toronto team excavating the ancient site of Tayinat in southeastern Turkey has discovered the ruins of a monumental gate complex and one of the stone lions that adorned it. The lion, who has already been transported to the nearby Antakya Archaeological Museum, is a particularly splendid find, over four feet tall and depicted seated on his haunches mid-roar.

“The lion is fully intact, approximately 1.3 metres in height and 1.6 metres in length. It is poised in a seated position, with ears back, claws extended and roaring,” said Timothy Harrison, professor of near eastern archaeology in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and director of U of T’s Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP). “A second piece found nearby depicts a human figure flanked by lions, which is an iconic Near Eastern cultural motif known as the Master and Animals. It symbolizes the imposition of civilized order over the chaotic forces of the natural world.”

“The presence of lions, or sphinxes and colossal statues astride the Master and Animals motif in the citadel gateways of the Neo-Hittite royal cities of Iron Age Syro-Anatolia continued a Bronze Age Hittite tradition that accentuated their symbolic role as boundary zones and the role of the king as the divinely appointed guardian, or gatekeeper, of the community,” noted Harrison. The elaborately decorated gateways served as dynastic parades, legitimizing the power of the ruling elite.

The lion at the gate guarded the neo-Hittite citadel of Kunulua (aka Kinalua), the capital of the Kingdom of Patina/Unqi (ca. 950-725 B.C.), one of several Neo-Hittite city-kingdoms that proliferated in the area during the Bronze and Iron Age. The lion failed in his duties when Assyrian forces under King Tiglath-Pileser III conquered the citadel in 738 BCE. They destroyed the citadel, leveled the gate complex and used it as the central courtyard of a newly built temple. Kunulua became an Assyrian provincial capital ruled by a governor with an imperial bureaucracy.

It was in that Assyrian temple complex in the mid-1930s that University of Chicago archaeologist Robert Braidwood discovered a column base decorated with lions that are very similar to the newly-discovered statue. Scholars thought that lion style was Assyrian in origin, duplicated by other peoples under the influence of Assyrian cultural primacy. The fact that this lion was found underneath the Assyrian temple in the Neo-Hittite citadel upends that assumption entirely. The lion design came before the Assyrians, so instead of setting sculptural trends they were copying or even reusing other people’s the sculptures.

The Tayinat Archeological Project is one of the world’s most productive archaeological digs, with as much as 100,000 artifacts discovered each year (most of them fragments and shards, of course). It has been going strong since 2004 and continues to rewrite the history of the area.

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Maharaja’s tiger hunting 1925 Rolls Royce for sale

August 8th, 2011

A Rolls Royce New Phantom Torpedo Sports Tourer custom-made in 1925 for Umed Singh II, Maharaja of Kotah, to hunt tigers with is going up for auction next week at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Sale in California.

Tiger hunting had long been a favorite pastime of Indian rulers and although traditionally they rode luxuriously appointed elephants, some of the trendier aristocrats replaced pachyderm conveyance with a luxury motorcar decked out to the nines with both decorative and killing features.

The former include crocodile seats and what may well be the coolest horn of all time, a nickel-plated snake. The latter include a mountable Lentaka swivel cannon on the rear bumper (just in case the maharaja felt like killing any elephants while he was out and about), a double-barrelled high-caliber Howdah pistol intended to shoot any animal charging the car, two vertical racks in the back seat containing a number of big game rifles, bird guns and shotguns, and just to ensure the tiger had no chance of survival whatsoever, a trailer-mounted Bira .450-caliber hand-cranked machine gun that attaches to a winch in the back of the car.

There are front and rear Stephen Grebel searchlights for finding and startling game while hunting at night, a red light that was only lit when the Maharaja was on board, and a blue light for when his wife was. It has tall tires and a transmission with a unique low gearing ratio that allowed the car to move through rough off-road jungle terrain. Not that there seemed to much in the way of off-road chasing involved.

“It was more for a show but everything would be ready and then they would then go and take this Rolls Royce up to a point or the hills and from there shoot the tiger that was already captured by their servants,” [Pran Nevile, a writer and expert on the British Raj] told Reuters.

Indiscriminate hunting, however, decimated India’s Bengal tiger population from an estimated 40,000 a century ago to about 1,700 today. Tigers are now a protected keystone species throughout Asia from Indonesia’s Sumatra to Indochina and India.

It wasn’t just the quadrupeds in danger. There’s a Chubb safe inside the car that the maharaja specifically commissioned to hold contingency money that would be given to the family members of any hunting assistants killed during a hunt.

The Tiger Car was in India until 1968 when it was sold to a British Rolls Royce expert. It’s gone through various hands since then and been restored twice, but still retains a remarkable number of its original bits and bobs, including an ammo box, two Thermoses and a complete tool kit. Bonhams estimates it will sell for between $750,000 and $1 million.

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Noel Coward telegram to Agatha Christie found

August 7th, 2011

Furniture restorer Clive Payne was repairing an early 18th century desk for a client who had purchased the piece at an estate held at Agatha Christie’s Devon home in 2006. The desk, made around 1710, is a quality piece with thick walnut veneers and three secret drawers but was in dire need of refurbishment. The anonymous owner commissioned Payne to restore the desk and several other pieces of furniture he had bought at the auction. After being in storage at Payne’s workshop for three years, the desk finally made it to the front of the line.

As part of the restoration, Payne removed the back of the desk and two pieces of paper fell out. One of them was a telegram sent by playwright Noel Coward to Agatha Christie in 1957.

Coward was living in Bermuda at the time after leaving the UK for tax reasons. He was inspired to send Christie a note when her murder mystery play The Mousetrap became the longest ever running play in the West End. Coward had set the previous record with his séance themed comedy Blithe Spirit which ran for 1,997 performances starting July 21, 1941. The Mousetrap debuted on the West End on November 25, 1952. It broke Coward’s record on September 13, 1957. In full sporting British style, Coward sent her a telegram of congratulations.

Dear Agatha Christie, much as it pains me I really must congratulate you on The Mousetrap breaking the long run record. All my good wishes, Noel Coward.

Little did he know how far behind The Mousetrap would leave that long run record. Fifty-four years later and the play has yet to stop its run. Christie herself had no concept that it would have such extraordinary longevity. In her autobiography she reports telling producer and theatrical impresario Peter Saunders that she expected the play to run no more than eight months.

The other piece of paper found along with the telegram was a receipt for underwear made out to a Mrs. Mallowan. Agatha Christie’s second husband was Max Mallowan, so the receipt for £24.13s.6d from a lingerie shop in London in 1952 was for Agatha’s own unmentionables, nighties and housecoats.



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Help digitize 20 years of Dickens’ weekly magazines

August 6th, 2011

As you’ve doubtless noticed by now, I love digitization projects that allow, nay, desperately need random nerds such as ourselves to root around in historical archives. This one is easily my favorite because it gives you the chance to read entire issues of the weekly magazine Charles Dickens owned and edited for 20 years.

The magazine saw the debut in serial form of some of Dickens’ most famous works like Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The journals contain articles about society and politics, exposés of appalling conditions in factories and prisons, dispatches from the front of mid-19th century conflicts, and the literary stylings of luminaries like Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Elizabeth Gaskell. Every Christmas Dickens would collaborate with some of them to create seasonal plays and stories.

The journal began in 1850 as Household Words. Dickens owned half of it and his agents Forster and Wills owned another quarter. The remaining shares belonged to his publishers, Bradbury and Evans. That 25% was enough to guarantee them interference, so when they and Dickens had a falling out in 1859 the author decided to start a new magazine over which he would have complete creative control.

He took Bradbury and Evans to court (Chancery Court, no less, the systemic maelström at the center of Bleak House) to win back the rights to the trade name “Household Words” but wasted no time getting the new venture off the ground. All the Year Round debuted on April 30, 1859. One month later Dickens won his case and folded Household Words into All the Year Round. He continued to edit the magazine until his death in 1870.

There are 1,101 editions of Dickens’ weeklies, that’s 33,000 pages. Starting in 2006, a valiant team of three people at the University of Buckingham has been working on scanning and digitizing them all so that they can be readable and searchable on the Internet. It’s an immense project, however, because even a high-resolution document scan is still replete with OCR errors and extraneous data, and it takes one person a lot of time to copy-edit a billion words. They’ve only managed to go through about 15% of the archive thus far.

Enter the Online Text Correction (OTC) Project.

All though the image files were created using a state-of-the-art scanning device, the quality of the original journal pages varied and some contained paper folds, smudge marks, transparency, etc. and as a result the text files contain a number of errors that vary from file to file. This is the main dilemma that we are trying to correct. A secondary problem, relatively trivial, is that the text file contains unwanted information and styling, which can also be corrected at the same time as the actual mistakes.

We have decided to make a magazine, typically 24 pages long, the smallest unit of contribution and as a result we will have 1,101 units of work at the end of the day. So if we find around 1,000 volunteers to take on 1 or 2 magazines each, we will reach the target between us. We reckon that with a typical magazine, it will take about 10 minutes to review and correct each page = 240 minutes or 4 hours’ work).

I love this approach. It means that you get to read an entire issue cover to cover, fixing OCR and formatting errors. You get all the pleasure of curling up with a stack of old Dickens magazines while at the same time helping ensure they will be available at the click of a mouse in perpetuity. The goal is to get the entire archive online in time to launch the new Dickens Journals Online website by February 7, 2012, the bicentennial of the birth of Dickens.

To help them accomplish this laudable goal while getting the chance to immerse yourself in Victorian society, register on the OTC Project website. Once you’re logged in, you select an uncorrected issue from the Magazine Index and dig in. Scroll down on this page for details on how they want the text formatted and corrected.

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Possible Spanish Armada wreck found off Irish coast

August 5th, 2011

A dive survey of a shipwreck discovered in the shallow waters of Burtonport harbor off the coast of Donegal, Ireland, has discovered evidence that the ship was once part of the mighty Spanish Armada that so spectacularly failed to invade England in 1588. The divers found lead shot balls, tunic buttons and Spanish pottery in the hull of the ship. The timbers and copper pins date the ship wreck to the 16th century.

The ship was discovered by Donegal divers Liam Miller, Oscar Duffy and Michael Early almost three years ago but was not publicized to give the underwater archaeologists time to survey the area without interference. There is still a great deal of work to be done in order to identify the vessel as an Armada warship, but the archaeologists surveying the find and the Heritage Ministry believe the find is a major historical significance.

Heritage minister Jimmy Deenihan has granted 50,000 euro for the excavation by the underwater archaeology unit from his department’s National Monuments Service.

He said the discovery was a major find of significance not only to Ireland but also to the international archaeological, historical and maritime communities.

“If, in fact, it proves to be an Armada vessel, it could constitute one of the most intact of these wrecks discovered to date,” he said.

“It could provide huge insight into life on board and the reality of the military and naval resources available to the Armada campaign.”

The 130-ship strong Spanish Armada was defeated by the wee English navy of 60 ships and the treacherous waters of the North Sea. After the English sent fireships into the Spanish fleet, the wind forced the Armada to flee north. The rocky coasts of Ireland and Scotland and the reliably abysmal weather did far more damage than the fireships. Less than 75% of the Spanish Armada made it home.

Between 24 and 26 Spanish Armada ships are thought to have gone down off the Irish coast. Fourteen of them have been found and mapped thus far, five of them off the coast of Donegal.

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Thirty minutes of Hitchcock’s lost first film found

August 4th, 2011

The first half hour of the 1923 film “The White Shadow,” the first feature film to credit a 24-year-old Albert Hitchcock, has been discovered in a collection at the New Zealand Film Archive. The unstable and dangerously flammable nitrate prints had been kept in the archive since 1989, when they were donated by Tony Osborne, the grandson of Jack Murtagh, a former projectionist and cinephile who was from New Zealand. Since the archive only had limited funds to spend on inventorying and restoring New Zealand’s films, nobody realized that The White Shadow, a British production that was first released in the US, was even in the collection.

They knew there were American films in the mix, however, and last year the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation got a $21,200 grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to send a film archivist to New Zealand to see what exactly was in the collection. The archivist uncovered 75 pieces of film, including whole features, shorts, newsreels and large fragments. The most famous find was John Ford’s 1927 film Upstream.

The focus of that project was to find complete pieces of American film. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave the NFPF another $22,000 grant this year to send an archivist to New Zealand to discover what else was to be found among the partials and fragments.

Nitrate expert Leslie Lewis is NFPF’s Sherlock Holmes. She was the lead sleuth last year and also went through the material this time around with the help of the staff at the New Zealand archive. “We pulled a bunch of reels from the nitrate vaults and I just started going through them,” Lewis said. “‘White Shadow’ was initially labeled ‘Twin Sisters.’”

Inspecting the footage on the light table, she knew that this was a quality production because the tinted images were striking. “I went home and started poking around, did a lot of research and narrowed down the possibilities,” Lewis said. “I realized that this was more like a film that Hitchcock worked on. I went to their archives the next day and used their research to pull out some contemporary reviews and summaries and confirmed it was ‘White Shadow.’”

Initially, she only had two reels of the film. “But I was inspecting another reel that was just identified as ‘Unidentified American film.’ I put it on the table and I recognized the actors and the sets. I took dozens of photographs of each reel and then compared them [to the other two reels] and they belonged together.”

Hitchcock isn’t credited as the director of this film, but he has pretty much every other major credit — writer, assistant director, editor, production designer — and the film’s director, Graham Cutts, didn’t exactly set the world alight with his filmmaking talent. Hitch had only begun working in the film industry three years earlier in 1920 as a title-card designer. His meteoric rise from maker of title-card swirlies to writer, assistant director, editor and production designer of a feature film in three years makes this film a crucial missing link in the development of Hitchcock’s artistry and career.

David Sterritt, author of The Films of Alfred Hitchcock, notes:

This is one of the most significant developments in memory for scholars, critics, and admirers of Hitchcock’s extraordinary body of work. At just twenty-four years old, Alfred Hitchcock wrote the film’s scenario, designed the sets, edited the footage, and served as assistant director to Graham Cutts, whose professional jealousy toward the gifted upstart made the job all the more challenging….These first three reels of The White Shadow—more than half the film—offer a priceless opportunity to study his visual and narrative ideas when they were first taking shape.

Contemporary reviews didn’t think much of the latter — the movie was a melodramatic carnival of good vs. evil twin — but the acting, especially Betty Compson’s dual role as the good twin Georgina and the evil twin “without a soul” Nancy, and the production itself did receive praise.

The White Shadow will be show for the first time in decades, a “re-premiere,” if you will, on September 22 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The print will then be added to the Academy’s Hitchcock collection.

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Archaeologists hack Kinect to make handheld scanner

August 3rd, 2011

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are hacking Xbox 360′s motion detecting Kinect device to serve as inexpensive portable 3D scanners for future archaeological digs. The Kinect sensor bar has a built-in color camera and a depth detector that uses a continuously projected infrared laser to capture 3D images. That’s how Kinect can tell even in dim light and with obstacles in the room how bad you are at bowling. It’s that perceptive capability the UCSD is customizing to archaeological ends.

As of now, research scientist Jürgen Schulze and his trusty graduate student Daniel Tenedorio have thus far successfully scanned people and small objects using their hacked Kinect.

Schulze’s ultimate goal, however, is to extend the technology to scan entire buildings and even neighborhoods. For the initial field application of their modified Kinect – dubbed ArKinect (a mashup of archaeology and Kinect) – Schulze plans to train engineering and archaeology students to use the device to collect data on a future expedition to Jordan led by Thomas Levy, associate director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture, and Archaeology (CISA3).

“We are hoping that by using the Kinect we can create a mobile scanning system that is accurate enough to get fairly realistic 3D models of ancient excavation sites,” says Schulze, whose lab specializes in developing 3D visualization technology.

The scans collected at sites in Jordan or elsewhere can later be made into 3D models and projected in Calit2′s StarCAVE, a 360-degree, 16-panel immersive virtual reality environment that enables researchers to interact with virtual renderings of objects and environments. Three-dimensional models of artifacts provide more information than 2D photographs about the symmetry (and hence quality of craftsmanship, for example) of found artifacts, and 3D models of the dig sites can help archaeologists keep track of the exact locations where artifacts were located.

That’s assuming this handy gadget works once they get it out of the lab and into the dusty, rainy, bumpy and generally chaotic field. Right now it still requires an overhead video tracking system which means that the device is tied to the indoors. The researchers are working to replace the five-pronged infrared sensor that tracks the scanner with an independent system that enlists smartphone sensors to do the job. The same sensors that detect your location for your GPS data will detect ArKinect’s position and orientation in space.

The collaborative possibilities are mind-boggling. Archaeologists will be able to consult with experts on freshly discovered artifacts while still on the dig site. If they need more information or the scanner missed a spot, the field team can quickly scan to order so their remote colleagues can explore the virtual rendering. Same goes for teaching. Entire dig sites could be recreated for class, as long as said class has the option of taking place in a 360-degree, 16-panel immersive virtual reality environment.

That StarCAVE looks like something Angela should be using on Bones. You can see the 3D scans at work in this video:

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Animalcules in the water

August 2nd, 2011

Today I encountered an interesting little random historical coincidence while perusing Scientific American‘s Anecdotes from the Archive blog. A recent entry mentioned that last year a reddit user found an abundance of microscopic crustaceans called copepods in his New York City tap water. Scientific American, as it happens, had alerted its readership to this shockingly shrimpy state of affairs as early as October 10, 1846.

The fact is generally known that nearly all liquids contain a variety of minute living animals, though in some they are too small for observation, even with a microscope. In others, especially in water that has been long stagnant, these animals appear not only in hideous forms, but with malignant and voracious propensities. The print at the head of this article purports to be a microscopic representation of a single drop of such water, with the various animals therein, and some of the inventors and venders of the various improved filters for the Croton water, would have no objection to the prevalence of the opinion that this water contains all the variety of monsters represented in this cut. But the fact is far otherwise; and it is doubtful whether these animals could frequently be detected in the Croton water, with the best solar microscope. Nevertheless, the fact is readily and clearly established that the Croton water contains a quantity of deleterious matter, which is arrested by the filters; and, on this account, we cheerfully and heartily recommend the adoption of filters by all who use this water, from either the public or private hydrants. To this end we would call the special attention of our city readers to the improved filters noticed under the head of “New Inventions.”

Compare the 1846 drawing accompanying this notice to a couple of the beasties in New York’s tap water today:

Impressive resemblance considering the artistic approach of the 1846 graphic, I say. Scientific American painted them all with an ominous brush, but copepods can be very salutary for standing water because they have an insatiable taste for mosquito larvae. In some places copepods are added to the water to reduce mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever.

On the other hand, in tropical countries where water systems are untreated, cholera bacteria have been observed on the surface of plankton, and guinea worm larvae in their digestive tracts. A simple cloth filter strains copepods out of tap water, however, so they’re easy enough to remove if you have dietary restrictions or live in a tropical climate.

The coincidence is that I just posted in the Seneca Village entry about how the city evicted poor and working class residents so they could build the Croton Distributing Reservoir on their land. The reservoir opened for business on June 22, 1842, when the first water from the Croton River in Westchester County traveled 41 miles downhill to supply thirsty, polluted, flammable and cholera-infested Manhattan.

Four years later and some people were already freaking out about the hideous creatures of malignant and voracious propensities living in their delicious new water. I find that amusing considering that Manhattan is surrounded by brackish water and the population explosion in the 19th century quickly saw to it that there was more raw sewage than water in most people’s supply. I’ll take mini-calamari over stewed feces any day of the week.

Which reminds me, there’s an exhibit at the Welcome Collection in London called Dirt: The filthy reality of everyday life which looks at our fascinating relationship to the grossness around (and inside of) us. One of the art works on display is an 1828 etching by William Hearth that seems relevant:

That is a lady dropping her teacup in dismay after seeing the “monster soup commonly called Thames Water” at close range.

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Local museum secures unique medieval sapphire ring

August 1st, 2011

Metal detectorist Michael Greenhorn discovered a gold and sapphire ring in a field six miles south of York in April of 2009. He reported it to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and, as expected, it was declared treasure. The Yorkshire Museum has just raised the £35,000 assessed value to buy the ring so it can be kept where it was discovered, studied thoroughly and put on display.

Sapphire jewelry is rare in medieval England. Sapphires were reserved for royalty, upper nobility or high-ranking clergy and were said to hold magical protective powers, especially against poison. The York ring is the second earliest example of sapphire jewelry known in England. The oldest sapphire jewel is a Roman example from the fifth century. The York ring was made after that, but scholars aren’t sure exactly when. There is literally nothing comparable to help them determine when it was made.

The ring weighs 10.2 grams, is 2.5 centimeters in diameter. A 6 millimeter deep blue sapphire is mounted in the middle, with pieces of red glass inset around it. The edges are adorned with fine gold beading, and all the gold in the piece is of a very high standard, an alloy of 90% gold, 8% silver and 2% copper.

The gold beading is characteristic of the Viking period (10th – 11th centuries), but a combination of red and blue glass set in gold is characteristic of early Anglian jewelry (7th – 9th centuries). The sapphire could have been used to replace the blue glass of the more modest traditional Anglian design to create a ring for fit for an important figure, maybe even a king. The only other known sapphire around this period was in Edward the Confessor’s coronation ring (he was crowned in 1042), and is now in the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain (it’s at the center of the Maltese Cross on the top of the crown). That sapphire is the oldest gemstone in the Crown Jewels.

The museum will launch a multi-disciplinary investigation to find out more about the ring. They will try to narrow down the date, comparing it stylistically to other medieval jewelry. They’re also going to focus on the high quality of the gold alloy, hoping the composition might shed some light on what historians think may have been a high level jewelry-making industry in medieval York.

The museum, in York, also plans to track down the ultimate origin of the sapphire itself. It’s possible that it came originally from India or Sri Lanka and a special scanning electron microscopy examination of the gem will almost certainly be carried out to identify trace elements and ascertain its geological background.

This may also help to reconstruct its pre-Anglo-Saxon history. Is it likely to have been imported into England or Europe from thousands of miles away in Anglo-Saxon times, or is it more likely that it was imported in Roman times and re-used in various different high status roles for hundreds of years before it was lost south of York a millennium or more ago.

Microscopic examination of ware marks on the ring may also shed light on its history – as might a detailed historical examination of the area around where it was found

The ring is scheduled to go on display at the Yorkshire Museum in the next few weeks.

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Giant marble foot restored

July 31st, 2011

There is a small street in the Campo Marzio neighborhood of Rome’s historic center called Via del Pie’ di Marmo, or Marble Foot Way. It is named after a large marble foot perched on the side of the street that is all that remains of a colossal statue. This one foot is four feet long, so the statue it used to be a part of would have been something like 26 feet high.

Clad in a Greek style of sandal called a Crepida, the foot is thought to have belonged to a colossal statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis whose cult had spread all over the Greco-Roman world after Alexander’s conquest of Egypt. A temple complex dedicated to the imported Egyptian deities Iris and Serapis (the Hellenized version of Osiris) was built in the Campus Martius area in 43 B.C. by order of the second Second Triumvirate, the ruling alliance of Octavian, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Mark Antony from 43 to 33 B.C. Augustus would later condemn oriental cults and advocate a return to traditional Roman religion, but worship just went underground until Caligula returned it to prominence.

The Iseum was lavishly decorated with monumental sculptures. At least six obelisks that are now elsewhere in Rome (Piazza Navona, Piazza della Rotonda, Piazza della Minerva and Piazza dei Cinquecento), Florence and Urbino, came from the temple complex. Allegorical statues The River Nile, now in the Vatican’s Chiaramonti Museum, and The Tiber, now in the Louvre museum, were both discovered on the temple grounds in the early 1500s.

The giant foot was found later in the century, along with yellow marble columns and sacrificial altars. It remained pretty much in the spot where it was found until 1878 when it was moved to its current side street so it wouldn’t obstruct the direct path to the Pantheon of Victor Emanuel II’s funeral cortege.

Exposed to filth, pollution and a shoddy restoration that left the poor giant foot with a huge grey plaster gash marring its arch, the sculpture was nonetheless voted one of Rome’s “places of the heart” last year, and is a favorite both of locals and tourists. Last month, as part of an effort to restore some of Rome’s many outdoor sculptures, several of them of the famous talking variety, the Pie’ di Marmo was removed from its eponymous street, thoroughly cleaned and returned. It has a nice new gate around the pedestal and everything.

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