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Mummified priests in Gangi

On 22 April 1932 Maurits Escher leaves for Italy, together with his friend and painter Giuseppe Haas-Triverio. Their first stop: Sicily. In the square in front of the church in Gangi a couple of street urchins ask them if they would like to see some dead priests.

A large key was produced and, surrounded by a gang of shouting boys, Maurits and Giuseppe descend into the crypt. Almost all the walls are pockmarked by rows of niches containing mummies. Escher took some photos and created this lithograph as soon as he got back home.

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