The master pastry chef Michele Somma had chosen a special moment to announce his decision. He struggled with himself for a long time and then made the decision that would ease his conscience, but would also deprive him of his treasure.
The farmer's son from Gragnano, south of Naples, grew up with the picture of the Madonna; his grandfather had once passed it on to his father. The Sommas had lived with the painting for three generations; the picture hung in the living room of the deeply religious family and belonged to them like their farm furniture.
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