The ancient Ponte Sant' Angelo, the bridge which leads to the castle of the same name, is lined with ten gloriously gyrating stone angels. The angels, which bear instruments from Christ's Passion, were designed by the legendary Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) and carved by leading members of his workshop.
The pedestals, on which the angels stand, have inscriptions in Latin. However, the inscription on one of the pedestals (that which supports the angel holding the Sudarium, or veil of Veronica) has been almost obliterated by a rather large dent.
The dent was made by a stray cannonball, which was fired from the Castel Sant' Angelo during the half-hearted papal defence of Rome on September 20th, 1870. The shot knocked the statue clean into the river.
Thankfully, the sculpture, the work of Cosimo Fancelli (1618-88), was not seriously damaged. The statue was soon fished out of the river and reunited with its pedestal.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian, writer and guide