Despite the fact that the Vatican City in Rome is the world’s smallest country, it has one of the most stunning collections of Old Masters art anywhere on the planet. This unique collection, boasting works by the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci requires constant care and periodic restoration.
A good example of this is the restoration of one of the most famous of artworks – Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes, created between 1508 and 1512. Commissioned by Pope Julius II, these exquisite works were in sore need of restoration by the time of an investigation in 1979.
The investigation showed that the ceiling was stained by the smoke from thousands of candles and it had also suffered from water leakage. Fortunately, Michelangelo had been a master of fresco techniques. Consequently, his painting had stood the test of time well despite its coating of grime and grease.