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Basilica of San Paolo Maggiore – The kidnapped statues

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The Basilica of San Paolo Maggiore possesses two magnificent statues by Alessandro Algardi, a marble group entitled the 'Beheading of St Paul'. These statues were at the centre of a veritable rapture. In fact, Algardi executed the Beheading in Rome, where he worked as a restorer. Once the statues were ready, he had to think about how to transport them to Bologna. As the easiest way at the time was by sea, the two marble giants were put on a ship, which sailed up the Adriatic coast from Messina. Unfortunately, however, the Adriatic was infested with pirates. Pirates kidnapped the two statues and demanded a ransom. The Spada family, who had commissioned the work, decided to pay and only then, finally, did the two sculptures arrive in Bologna.

Basilica of San Paolo Maggiore – The kidnapped statues

Galleria Cavour, 2, 40123 Bologna BO, Italy

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