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Italian. 1908 - 1994
Above 626 Fifth Avenue entrance
During the Second World War, a bas-relief with an undesirable fascist theme was removed from the prominent 626 Fifth Avenue entrance. Twenty years later, in 1965, a group of prominent Italian businessmen presented Rockefeller Center with this plaque as a symbol of Italy and Italian-Americans. The grapevines, leaves and stalks of wheat are entwined to create a central motif, directly linked to the high bold letters spelling out ITALIA. Manzu is most renowned for the work he created a year before this piece—the bronze doors at St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican.
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