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Master restorer of the Sistine Chapel dies aged 92

Gianluigi Colalucci

The chief restorer of the Sistine Chapel, who revived the “dazzling splendor” of Michelangelo’s frescoes, has died aged 92, the Vatican Museums said Monday. “Master Gianluigi Colalucci passed away last night,” the museums said on their Instagram account.

“It is thanks to his courage and talent that today the colors of Michelangelo’s Vault and Last Judgment appear in all their dazzling splendor,” the message said. Colalucci worked on the Sistine Chapel from 1980 to 1994, removing centuries of dust and smoke that had dulled the vivid colors of the Renaissance masterpiece.

“A sad day for the Vatican Museums and for the world of restoration,” the museums’ director, Barbara Jatta, told the Vatican’s news portal, Vatican News. She said she had accompanied Colalucci for a private tour of the museums “only a few days ago,” so that he could be shown ongoing restoration works.

He would regularly be called in to give advice, which he kept giving until “recently,” for example on the recently restored Room of Constantine, Jatta said. The Vatican Museums, which include the Sistine Chapel as well as a priceless collection of ancient Roman art, are currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions. – AFP


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