THE Prado Museum in Madrid has unveiled Spain’s only original Michelangelo statue, Young Saint John the Baptist, after 19 years of restoration work.
The statue was made by the famous artist between 1495-96 and was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War, which took place between 1936-1939. The statue was originally located in the Chapel of the Saviour of Ubeda in Andalucia, where it had been since the 16th century until the time of its destruction.
The artwork was burnt and hammered into fragments at the time. The pieces of the statue were kept by the Ducal House of Medinaceli Foundation and the statue was long considered impossible to restore.
The pieces were finally sent to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy, when new technology had made the restoration of the statue a possibility. The statue was restored using laser technology, stucco, varnish and wax.
The artwork will be displayed at the Prado until June 28. It than then be returned to the Chapel of the Saviour in Ubeda, near Jaen, in Andalucia.