Tullio Lombardo’s statue of Adam was the centerpiece of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s newly installed Italian Renaissance sculpture exhibit. Carved around 1490 for the tomb of the Doge of Venice, purchased by the Museum in 1936, it was their most important Italian Renaissance sculpture and one of the most significant Italian sculptures outside Italy. On October 6, 2002, after the museum had closed for the evening, guards discovered the sculpture shattered on the marble floor. The pedestal designed to support the sculpture had collapsed sending the prized sculpture crashing to the floor. The value of the sculpture was estimated at $40 to $80 million.
Rapperport Associates was retained to conduct a failure analysis of the pedestal. It was determined that the plywood pedestal was inadequately designed and could not support the 770 lb sculpture. Adam underwent an unprecedented 12 year reconstruction effort and is now back on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.