Art: Stone by Stone

It sometimes seems as if the most valuable characteristic a museum man can have is an insistent, resourceful, patient diplomatic, dedicated pigheadedness. Last week, when Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed its latest acquisition to the public—a superb, 800-year-old limestone apse that had been brought from Spain to be reconstructed at the Met's medieval offshoot, The Cloisters—it ended a task of determined negotiation that began back in 1935. The Spanish ambassador and New York's Governor Nelson Rockefeller were on hand to say a few glowing words, but neither even mentioned the painful process...

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