Michelangelo, the famous Italian sculptor, lived in Florence. Once a beautiful piece of white marble was brought to Florence, and the governor of the city told Michelangelo that he wanted him to make a statue out of the marble. He said that Michelangelo was the only man in Italy who could do it.
The sculptor worked for two years to make the statue as beautiful as possible. When the statue was ready, a lot of people gathered in the square where it stood. Everybody was waiting for the governor. At last he came, accompanied by the richest people of the city. The governor looked pleased, and seeing the expression on his face the people thought that he liked the statue. So they were all surprised to hear him say that he didn't like the sculptor's work at all because the statue's nose was too long.
"Can you make the nose shorter?' the governor asked Michelangelo.
Those who heard the question expected the sculptor to get angry, but to their great surprise Michelangelo answered calmly that he didn't mind changing the shape of the nose.
When the governor was not looking, he picked up a handful of marble dust and went up to the statue. He pretended to work hard. Standing with his back to the governor, he dropped the marble dust he had picked up little by little to make the governor believe that he was really changing the shape of the nose. The governor thought that the sculptor was doing as he had been told, and so when Michelangelo finished working, he said proudly, "Now the statue is wonderful."
The people, who had kept silent while the sculptor was working, realized now that he hadn't done anything to the statue, and shouted with joy.
The statue, which is called David, is one of Michelangelo's best works. We have a copy of it in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.