“On the day when a statue is finished, its life, in a certain sense, begins. [Time] will bit by bit return it to the state of unformed mineral mass out of which its sculptor had taken it… .
Yet the expert does not hesitate: a line which is worn away, a curve which is lost here and remerges there can only result from a human hand, a Greek hand, which labored in one specific spot during one specific century.
The entire man is there — his intelligent collaboration with the universe, his struggle against it, and that final defeat in which the mind and the matter which supported him perish almost at the same time.
What he intended affirms itself forever in the ruin of things… .
The great lovers of antiquity restored out of piety. Out of piety, we undo what they did. But possibly we are more accustomed to ruins and wounds.”
- Marguerite Yourcenar, “That Mighty Sculptor, Time,” trans. Walter Kaiser