In 1506, the city of Bologna persistently asked the rulers of Florence to send the artist, Michelangelo, to create a bronze statue of Pope Julius II. At the end of November of that year, Michelangelo agreed to the request and at once left for Bologna armed with a letter of safe conduct from Pier Soderini, who had been elected Gonfalonier for life in 1502, in which he wrote “The bearer of this document is the sculptor, Michelangelo, who has been despatched to carry out works for His Holiness, our Lord. We confirm that he is a young man of excellent quality and, in his art, is second to none in Italy, and perhaps in the entire world. We can only recommend him extremely warmly; his character is such that, through kind words and reasonableness, everything may be obtained from him. It is enough to display affection and goodwill, and he will create things that astound everyone who looks upon them.