Michelangelo's David gets long-overdue bath

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 13 2002 11:00 PM ET

Michelangelo's David, considered one of the great pieces of homoerotic art, is set to have a seven-month-long public bath. Restorers at Florence, Italy's Galleria dell'Accademia will begin wiping away 129 years of dirt and grime from the Renaissance marble statue on Monday. It is the first time the 16-foot-tall nude has been cleaned since it was moved into the gallery in 1873 to protect it from weather and pollution. The clean-up is expected to cost about 150,000 euros, and visitors to the gallery will be able to watch the work.

David, carved from a single block of marble from 1501 to 1504, depicts the biblical hero who killed Goliath. It established Michelangelo--whom many historians consider to have been homosexual--as the foremost sculptor of his time at the age of 29.