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Gudea was a ruler of the city of Lagash in Sumer. His statues, carved elaborately out of diorite (now in the Louvre Museum) made him famous amongst European scholars.

After the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, Lagash rose as an important Sumerian City State in Southern Mesopotamia in modern Iraq. Reign of Gudea was the peak of the state of Lagash, which soon after became a part of the Ur III Kingdom.