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Statue / monument of  Centurion in Washington DC by Sculptor Louis Saint-Gaudens  Subject:  Centurion
 Year: 1907
 Sculptor: Louis Saint-Gaudens
 Location: Union Station
( Massachusetts Ave. & 1st )

The exterior and interior of Union Station are guarded by a series of statues of Roman centurions. When he received the commission for designing the statues, Saint-Gaudens asked the Fine Arts Commission if they wanted the statues to be historically accurate and was assured that they did.

When the models were delivered, the Fine Arts Commission were dismayed to find that some of the statues were obviously naked below their tunics -- historically accurate, yes, but not acceptable to turn-of-the-century Washington.

Saint-Gaudens redesigned the statues so the centurions now hold "modesty shields".

Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved

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