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(...) "Many accusations had been relayed to the Pope against the architect, namely that he had behaved dishonestly and committed construction errors because he had taken on a job with a budget of eighteen thousand ducats and had then spent fifty thousand, so, according to the law of the Ephesians reported by Vitruvius, he should have been sentenced to pay back the expenses.
Bernardo was from Florence, therefore hated by to the people of Siena because of where he came from and everyone, in his absence, criticised him. Having examined the work and contemplated all the evident beauty, Pope Pious invited the artist to appear before him.
The latter, after a few days, showed up a little fearful because he knew he was the subject of many accusations.
Pious said to him: “You did the right thing really, Bernardo, to lie to us about the future expense of the entire work; if you had told us the truth, you would never have persuaded us to pay such a large sum, and this noble palace and the wondrous cathedral among those in Italy, would not exist. Thanks to your deception, these wonderful buildings have been built in a short time, which everyone praises, except a few, consumed by envy and hatred. Thus, We thank you and consider you worthy of the highest honour among all the architects who are now living”.
He then ordered that the artist be paid the full sum requested and in addition to be given one hundred ducats and a purple robe. He granted the blessings requested for his son and gave him new commissions. Bernardo, after hearing the words of the pontiff, wept with joy and emotion”. (...)
Excerpt from the Commentaries, Pious II