Pat Shingleton: "Weathering David..."
Each year more than a million people visit the Galleria dell’ Accademia in Florence, Italy, to view the 17-foot-tall masterpiece of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s biblical shepherd, known as David. Over the years weather has caused some problems for the 514 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. Recently, only cotton swabs and distilled water were used on the face and to remove contaminants from the body and experts apply cellulose pulp and clay. In 1991, a vandal smacked David’s foot with a hammer, damaging a toe.