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1500s 'Madonna' gets a face-lift

October 31, 2008|associated press

A Raphael masterpiece that survived the collapse of a palace and centuries of decay is ready to be put back on display in Florence, Italy, after a 10-year restoration.

The "Madonna of the Goldfinch" will be returned to the Uffizi gallery in Florence with the canvas strengthened and its colors restored to their original radiance, experts said Thursday.

The Renaissance master painted the work in about 1505 for the wedding of his friend, a rich Florence merchant named Lorenzo Nasi.

But the painting was shredded into 17 pieces when Nasi's palace collapsed in 1548.

The ruined work was painstakingly put together with pieces of wood and long nails. But later restorers became fearful of touching the fragile masterpiece and over the centuries it took on a yellowish, opaque hue.

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