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Giotto Paintings Uncovered At Florence Church

Using ultra-violet light, restorers at Florence’s Santa Croce church unearthed a hidden treasure—original details of some paintings by Giotto, a father of the Italian Renaissance. When Florence’s Opificio delle Pietre Dure, an internationally renowned art restoration laboratory, embarked on an ambitious project to determine the condition of the Giotto-painted Peruzzi Chapel from 1320, the over a dozen restorers and researchers did not know what they would find from the artist who is believed to have influence Michelangelo. “We knew we could get some very interesting results from our scientific diagnostics but when we looked under ultra-violet light, all of a sudden all these very faint paintings that were ruined by old restorations took on a new life,” said Cecilia Frosinini, co-coordinator of the four-month long, Getty-funded project. “They became three dimensional, you could see the folds of the garments, the expressions of the faces.” Frosinini says that while she understands the impossibility of recreating the moment of her and her colleague’s discovery, she hopes to have the financial backing to create a complete ultra-violet mapping of the chapel to offer the public virtually.