Microbes 'with good taste' enlisted in cleaning up the Michelangelos

The New Sacristy gleams after a lengthy period of restorations at the Medici Chapel in Florence, Italy, on May 24, 2021.
The New Sacristy gleams after a lengthy period of restorations at the Medici Chapel in Florence, Italy, on May 24, 2021.PHOTO: NYTIMES

FLORENCE (NYTIMES) - As early as 1595, descriptions of stains and discoloration began to appear in accounts of a sarcophagus in the graceful chapel that Michelangelo created as the final resting place of the Medicis.

In the ensuing centuries, plasters that were used to incessantly copy the masterpieces he sculpted atop the tombs left discolouring residues. His ornate white walls dimmed.

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