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Loggia dei Lanzi

The Loggia was built on the south side of the Piazza between 1376 and 1381 by Benci di Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti. This structure was, and still is, called Loggia dei Lanzi, because in 1527 the Lansquenet mercenaries on their way to Rome camped here. The building was also called Loggia dell'Arcagna, because it was mistakenly thought that the work was carried out by Andrea Cione, brother of Simone, known as Arcagna. The Loggia was originally an open balcony for assemblies and ceremonies. During the 16th century, it lost this function and became a sort of open-air museum to display the sculptures belonging to the Medici family. In 1555, Grand Duke Cosimo I placed Benveuto Cellini's Perseus there, the loggia's most important work. Subsequent alterations in the 18th and 19th centuries gave the gallery its present appearance.

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