Art: Lost Count

In the Cairo Museum the small boy leaned over a case. The label said that it contained ten 14-lb. gold bars, dating from the Middle Kingdom and considered to be the world's first gold money. As bored small boys will, he began to count. There were only eight.

His father summoned a guard. Two bars, worth an estimated $10,000 apiece melted down, had indeed disappeared. The case was opened. The remaining bars proved to be not gold but copper.

Some time, somehow, a highly ingenious thief had manufactured copper copies, embarrassed museum officials admitted last week, and substituted them for the gold originals,...

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