Summiteers see few sights. What with arms talks in the morning and state dinners at night, the Gorbachevs might never see the real Washington. In the interest of world peace, Post readers are suggesting stops on a highly unofficial tour of the area's lesser-known charms.
Today's guide: Douglas Lewis, curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the National Gallery of Art.
Destination: The Classical Collection at Dumbarton Oaks, 31st and R streets NW.
"The object that I would call everybody's attention to is a beautiful bronze 5th-century B.C. Greek statuette of Hephaistos, the god of craftsmanship and ingenuity. It is magnificently preserved -- the head, two hands, two feet -- even the surface is well preserved.
"The attitude is as the god raises his right hand and prepares to swing it forcibly downward. The instrument is now missing, but it would almost certainly have been his famous ax and he probably would have been aiming it at the forehead of Zeus. With this blow, Hephaistos clove the forehead of Zeus and from the aperture burst the fully formed and fully armed Athena.
"Athena is the goddess responsible for the divine protection of human political organizations. I think it is fitting, when the leaders of the world's greatest states meet to discuss a better global cooperation, that their attention might be called to the origin of the idea of just government.