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Taking You There: Love Amid Catastrophe With ‘Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii’

Several years ago, I commissioned a fine artist to paint my girlfriend’s favorite photo of her two teenage daughters. They were at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, one with her arm extended, tossing a coin into a large water bowl. When the painting was completed, I was surprised that the artist had replaced the bowl with a statue. He said the sculpture added depth and enhanced the picture. I had to agree. But what was the piece? Research revealed that it was “Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii.” After nearly three decades in the FBI, my investigations have taken me to many cities. I always visit their museums. I finally saw the statue of Nydia in the Art Institute of Chicago, but it was 800 miles from The Met! Another investigation took me to Birmingham, Alabama. In their Museum of Art, to my surprise, there was another statue …

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