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National Gallery hosts ancient Roman sculpture

Thursday - 12/12/2013, 3:09pm  ET

The Dying Gaul, an ancient Roman sculpture created during the first or second century AD, is unveiled at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The Dying Gaul is traveling outside of Italy for the first time in more than two centuries. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

WASHINGTON -- An ancient Roman sculpture portraying a warrior just before his death is visiting Washington on its first trip outside of Italy in more than 200 years.

"The Dying Gaul" went on display Thursday at the National Gallery of Art and will be there through March 16. The sculpture dates to the first or second centuries A.D.

Gallery Director Earl A. Powell III says it is a masterpiece in art history. He says it's an image of a conquered enemy, representing courage in defeat.

"The Dying Gaul" was found in a Roman garden, unearthed between 1621 and 1623. It became famous, and monarchs in Spain and France commissioned copies.

The sculpture is on loan from Rome's Capitoline Museum as part of the Italian Embassy's "Year of Italian Culture" in the U.S.


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