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The dirt about 'David's' face-lift

ARTS NOTES

October 23, 2005|Lynne Heffley

THREATENED by the wear and tear of the ages -- never mind periodic and predictable fig-leaf controversies -- Michelangelo's iconic masterpiece "David" was in need of major restoration to reverse the effects of environmental damage and well-meant but misguided restoration efforts.

Enter independent restoration expert Cinzia Parnigoni. In September 2003, under the auspices of the Soprintendenza per il Polo Museale Fiorentino and the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, Parnigoni embarked on a year's worth of complex work cleaning and refurbishing the statue. Her previous restoration projects for Italian cultural institutions had included Michelangelo's Slaves and sculptures by Donatello, Verocchio, Della Robbia and Canova.

Now Parnigoni will speak about the project from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Getty Center's Getty Research Institute Lecture Hall.

"This is going to be a technical lecture on the restoration and the reasons why certain interventions were deemed necessary and how [Parnigoni] has gone about cleaning and restoring the 'David' to its original glory," says Roberta Panzanelli, a senior research specialist at the institute.

The first-come, first-seated lecture will be presented in Italian with simultaneous English translation through headphones. It is free, but reservations are required and may be made by calling the Getty or visiting its website.

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