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Mass-Produced Masterpieces

Not as tragic and more instructive than it sounds: an ancient scene of an athlete with a detached hand not far from a bodiless head. The apparent carnage on the side of a 1,500-year-old Etruscan vase has been reinterpreted as a depiction of metal body parts in a foundry for making bronze statues. It's part of an exhibition based on new research to stifle our oohs and ahs over unique masterpieces of Greek and Roman sculpture - and bring new oohs and ahs because many now lost copies were probably mass produced on an assembly line to meet the demand for heroes in bronze.

The show, fully described in The Washington Post, is at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Will folks in AD 3500 know Toledo was also the site of a classic Jeep factory? Or will they unearth the one surviving Jeep and wonder what great artist of the 20th century had the skill and imagination to create this sublime one-of-a-kind?

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