In 1291, the Venetian Republic ordered its glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano for fear the city’s wooden buildings will be destroyed by fire, thus giving birth to what was to become the world center of glass. It took the glassmakers only a short time to become the city’s privileged citizens: they were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state, and married their daughters into Venice’s most affluent families.
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