A months long restoration of Michelangelo's David is now complete:
Bathed in natural light streaming through the dome of Florence's Accademia Gallery (search), the marble statue of the young Biblical hero who took on Goliath appeared more radiant Monday than it did before the cleaning.
The restoration resumed in September after an aborted start when the original restorer quit in a dispute over how the statue should be cleaned....
"'David' is still itself, only what has changed is his luminosity," said restorer Cinzia Parnigoni, who, working atop scaffolding for months, applied "mud packs" of cellulose pulp and clay to soak away the dirt as tourists gawked.
After months of restoration, the sculpture is "less cold," she said in an interview with The Associated Press before a news conference to present conclusions about the cleaning.
Of course some opposed the restoration, for reasons I will never understand. With great works of art I don't know why we shouldn't see them as the artist intended. Should centuries of smoke buildup hide the true colors of the Sistine Chapel?
On a Biblical note, one doubts that the real David spent much time posing publicly in such a stage of undress.