May 24, 2024

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Vatican Museum restoring Hercules statue struck by lightning

1 min read

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The statue has been variously dated from the end of the first to the beginning of the third centuries — and a lightning strike helped ensure its preservation.

ROME, Italy — Scaffolding in a niche of the Vatican Museums’ Round Hall conceal from view the work of restorers who are removing centuries of grime from the largest known bronze statue of the ancient world: the gilded Hercules Mastai Righetti.

For more than 150 years, the 13-foot-tall figure of the half-human Roman god of strength has stood in that niche, barely garnering notice among other antiquities because of the dark coating it had acquired.

But it was only after removing a layer of wax and…



2023-05-13 08:14:26

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