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The sculpture, whose origins are already a source of debate because some say it is a Greek original while others say it is a later Roman copy, depicts Laocoon, the Trojan high priest, and his two sons being strangled by sea serpents for warning the city of Troy not to touch the Trojan horse during the siege of the city. According to a description by Pliny the Elder, a Roman officer and encyclopedist, the original “Laocoon” was carved by the Rhodian sculptors Hagesandros, Polydoros and Athenodoros. He described it as “a work superior to all the pictures and bronzes of the world,” and noted that it was constructed from a single piece of marble.