The famous Venetian carnival masks were not always the tame, solemn, apparently dead objects they are now. Follow their dramatic and grotesque evolution, intertwined with the life of the great city state of the past. Witness their monstrous introduction as Satanic tools of murder and madness, brought home by Marco Polo from his travels to the ends of the world. See the role they played in the grave events of the Great Plague of 1348, when they stood at the edge of a dispute between the city itself and a powerful magician, cursing it with the magic of the dead. And witness their final elevation to the symbol of the city, worn by the chosen few who became the magical guardians of Venice.