DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     June 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 105


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          The ZENIT International News Agency brings news that the famed, legendary painting of Leonardo da Vinci's masterful Last Supper, painted on the wall of the refectory of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan has been refurbished and color-enhanced. Many believe, though Leonardo was a genius, he did not have a way to properly prepare his frescoes so the paint would last and be vibrant after centuries. Yet through today's technology much has been accomplished and thus, after twenty years dormant the giant wall classic of the Lord at the Last Supper is once again available for limited display.


Opens To Public After 20 Years of Restoration

          MILAN, MAY 27 (ZENIT).- "Look at me, look at me," he seems to be saying, "I am betraying you for a handful of coins." Judas looks straight into the Messiah's eyes. To give greater force to his stare, his body is stretched like a bow before the arrow is shot.

          This detail of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper,' can be admired beginning May 28, when the painting will be reopened for viewing, after 20 years of restoration by Pinin Brambilla Barcilon. Before the restoration, many details were lost, as the work of art had greatly deteriorated. A very special and studied lighting was necessary not to damage the work, with sources of heat which could cause condensation of humidity on the surface.

          The challenge was to rediscover the artist's original colors. It is something accomplished in our day which, in the past, would be condemned as hyper-realism. Today it is a must in restoration work; it has given new life to discoveries such as Michelangelo's Last Judgement.

          'The Last Supper' is focused on the moment Christ announces Judas' betrayal. Da Vinci depicts the reaction of the apostles to the famous words, "one of you will betray me."

          In order to view the work, which is in the refectory of the Milanese Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, an appointment is necessary. Visits are organized in groups of a maximum of 30 persons for 15 minutes. Before entering, visitors must pass through "filtration zones," spaces where the air is "purified" to avoid dust or contaminating agents being brought in which could damage the painting. ZE99052710

June 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 105


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