Art: Michelangelo's Last Piet

One by one, the sculptures Michelangelo carved for his Renaissance patrons found their way into public galleries, until only a single work remained in private hands: the Pietà Rondanini, an unfinished sculpture of the dead Christ and Virgin Mary on which the master was working when he died in 1564. It was owned by Italy's wealthy Sanseverino family and kept in their villa near Rome. Then, three years ago, the word flashed through art circles that the Sanseverinos were inviting offers (TIME, March 6, 1950).

Last week the Pietà was moved to Rome's Borghese Gallery for a month's exhibit before being...

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