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Visitors can see Donatello’s ‘David’ restored

Visitors to the Bargello museum in Florence will be able to see restorers at work removing centuries of dirt from Donatello’s “David” starting Tuesday, officials said.
Ludovica Nicolai
Restorer Ludovica Nicolai works on the 1440 bronze nude of Donatello's "David" during the first phase of its restoration, inside Florence's Bargello museum.Lorenzo Galassi / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Visitors to the Bargello museum in Florence will be able to see restorers at work removing centuries of dirt from Donatello’s “David” starting Tuesday, officials said.

The 15th-century bronze nude is being restored for the first time, said museum director Beatrice Paolozzi Strozzi. New techniques including lasers will allow restorers to remove encrusted dirt and grime from the 5.18-feet masterpiece while keeping it in its place in the museum.

The restoration, which costs $269,220, is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, Paolozzi Strozzi said.

The statue, considered Donatello’s best, is said to have been the first bronze nude since ancient times. It was believed to have been made in 1440.

Florence’s other “David” — the marble masterpiece by Michelangelo — was restored in 2004.