Restorers Were Cleaning Walls In The Vatican When They Uncovered The Work Of A 500-Year-Old Master

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Image: Raphael via CNN

Although Vatican City is the world’s smallest country, it has one of the most stunning collections of Old Masters art anywhere on the planet. However, the impressive array of works – which include those by the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci – require constant care to keep them looking their best.

Image: Michelangelo

Take Vatican City’s arguably most famous artwork, for example: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes, created between 1508 and 1512. Commissioned by Pope Julius II, the exquisitely detailed paintings were in sore need of restoration at the time of a 1979 investigation.

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Image: Michelangelo

After analysis, the ceiling was found to have been stained by the smoke from thousands of candles; it had also suffered at the hands of water leakage. Fortunately, though, Michelangelo’s work had stood the test of time well, even with its coating of grime and grease.

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