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Bronze is one of the oldest materials used by humans, with evidence of early bronze dating to around 5000 BC. Over its extensive history, bronze has been desired for its durability, malleability and luxurious reddish-brown color. These characteristics have made bronze a popular material for a number of uses, particularly for sculpture; the Ancient Greeks used cast bronze for everything from votive figurines to monumental works, such as the colossal Artemison Bronze statue of Zeus (c.460 BC). During the 20th century, Swiss sculptor, Alberto Giacometti, found fame through his bronze sculptures of humans with surreal proportions. In addition to artistic purposes, bronze has also been long-associated with the military; for thousands of years, bronze has been used worldwide to produce medals of achievement, armor and weapons. Bronze medals from the Second World War are highly-sought after on the collectors' market, and can sell for thousands at auction.

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