Art: Big Little Bronzes

In Rome's National Gallery of Modern Art last week stood tablefuls of statuettes that had been modern for three millenniums. They were products of the ancient island civilization of Sardinia, about which almost nothing is known.

Nowadays the island is dirt-poor, but judging by the ruins of some 7,000 small stone castles, it was a prosperous, well-populated land 1,000 years before Christ. Carthage conquered the island in 450 B.C. and reduced its people to a relatively barbaric state. Soon much of Sardinia's ancient sculpture lay buried under layers of silt and rubbish, not...

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