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HIDDEN TREASURES OF FLORENCE:THE PORTRAIT OF THE PEST BY MICHELANGELO Palazzo Vecchio - Firenze

The Palazzo Vecchio is such an impressive building that it’s easy to overlook a small, but very special portrait on the outside wall of the Florentine town  hall. On the right wall of the main entrance, just behind the "Ercole e Caco"statues, you can see the portrait of an unknown man carved into a stone. One story has it that Michelangelo, always in a hurry to get back to work on his sculpture, was usually stopped by a fellow  who would keep him busy talking about his trifling problems. One day, Michelangelo, unable to get rid of this pest,  seized the opportunity to portray the man . So, facing him, holding hands behind his back, the great sculptor  engraved a profile on the stone. Another version of this story has it that the carving portrays a man condemned to the pillory and Michelangelo, passing by from the Piazza della Signoria, recognized him as his own debtor. To immortalize this state of infamy, the sculptor decided to chisel a bas-relief profile of the offender directly into the ashlar of the Palazzo Vecchio.

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