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The Lion of Venice is an ancient bronze winged lion sculpture in the Piazzetta di San Marco (St Mark's Square) of Venice, Italy, which came to symbolize the city — as well as one of its patron saints, St Mark — after its arrival there in the 12th century.
The Lion of Venice surmounts one of two large granite columns in the Square, thought to have been erected about 1268,[1] carrying ancient symbols of the two patron saints of Venice.[2] The eastern column bears a creature which at some point came to represent the “Lion of Saint Mark”, traditional symbol of the evangelist. The sculpture has had a very long and obscure history, probably starting its existence as a winged lion-griffin statue on a monument to the god Sandon at Tarsus in Cilicia (Southern Turkey) about 300 BC.[3]

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