"David-507 Years Old..."
Thousands visit the Galleria dell' Academia in Florence, Italy each year. They view the 17-foot-tall masterpiece of Michaelangelo Buonarroti's biblical shepherd, known as David. Over the years, weather has advanced the aging of the 506 year-old statue. In 1512, lightning struck its base and in 1527 the left arm was broken during riots against Florence's ruling Medici family. From 1808 through 1815, the statue was coated with wax for weather proofing and later cleaned with steel brushes and an acidic solution. Current repairs include cotton swabs and distilled water, applied on the face to remove contaminants from the body. Experts protect the statue by applying cellulose pulp and clay. In 1991, a vandal smacked David's foot with a hammer.