Renovation and Restoration

The Canton Synagogue, founded in 1531

Inside the Effort to Restore Synagogues in Venice's 500-Year-Old Jewish Ghetto

A new project focuses on three 16th-century synagogues in the Italian city, where the Jewish population has dropped to 450

The ceiling was once so filthy, these depictions of Egyptian goddesses could not be seen.

Temple Restoration Reveals Vibrant Art of Vulture-Like Egyptian Goddesses

Millennia of grime, soot and bird poop had covered up—and preserved—the archaeological treasure

The Lockkeeper's House is the oldest building on the National Mall. After years of neglect, it is now open to the public.

The National Mall's Oldest Building Is Now Open to the Public

The long-lived Lockkeeper's House represents centuries of D.C. history

Birds with teeth, little men in triangular hats and other fanciful figures appear in the Tudor wall paintings.

Cool Finds

Well-Preserved Tudor Wall Paintings Discovered Beneath Plaster at Medieval Manor

Carbon dating of the artworks' timber frame suggests they date to between the 1540s and 1580s

The Olivewood Cemetery in Houston, Texas, is at risk of flooding and erosion. Newly announced grants will help fund a drainage plan to prevent further damage to the graveyard.

National Trust Pledges $3 Million to Preserve Black History Sites Across the U.S.

A series of newly announced grants will support 40 African American landmarks and organizations

Officials unveiled the hypogeum—a system of underground tunnels beneath the Colosseum—during a ceremony on Friday.

The Tunnels Beneath Rome's Colosseum Are Open to the Public for the First Time

The chambers are finally on view after a $29.8 million restoration

The team used bacteria to clean the tomb of Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Nemours (pictured here). Allegorical sculptures of Night and Day flank the marble sarcophagus.

Art Meets Science

Italian Art Restorers Used Bacteria to Clean Michelangelo Masterpieces

Researchers deployed microbes to remove stains and grime from the marble sculptures in Florence's Medici Chapels

The newly restored artworks highlight predator-prey conflicts in the natural world.

Newly Restored Pompeiian Frescoes Capture Hunting Scenes in Vivid Detail

Researchers used a laser to clean the ancient artworks before retouching their faded sections

Kehinde Wiley, Go, 2020

See the Stunning Art Set to Welcome Travelers Back to Penn Station

Opening on January 1, the Moynihan Train Hall features contemporary art and majestic architectural features

The African Burial Ground National Monument in Manhattan commemorates the earliest and largest known black burial site discovered in the United States. More than 15,000 free and enslaved Africans who lived and worked in colonial New York were buried here between the mid-1630s and 1795.

New Legislation Seeks to Protect the U.S.' Historic Black Cemeteries

Now headed to the House, a bill passed by the Senate paves the way for the creation of the African American Burial Grounds Network

The Colosseum is one of Italy's biggest tourist attractions, welcoming millions of visitors every year.

Italy Will Rebuild the Colosseum's Floor, Restoring Arena to Its Gladiator-Era Glory

Officials plan to host concerts and theater productions on the new, retractable platform

Notre-Dame's Grand Organ, as seen before the April 2019 fire

Inside the Monumental Effort to Restore Notre-Dame's Grand Organ

Workers spent four months painstakingly dismantling the musical instrument, which is only set to sound again in 2024

The original sculpture (left) and the "restored" version (right)

Botched Art Restoration in Spain Renders Smiling Statue Unrecognizable

A disfigured carving in Palencia is the latest in a growing list of bungled conservation attempts by amateurs

The Ghent Altarpiece's Adoration of the Lamb panel

Cool Finds

New Research on the Ghent Altarpiece Validates Restorers' Rendering of the Mystic Lamb's Alarmingly Humanoid Face

The animal's soul-penetrating gaze was painted over by a second set of artists in 1550 and spent the next five centuries under wraps

The "restored" painting may be a copy of this 17th-century work by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Botched Art Restoration Renders Virgin Mary Unrecognizable

The failed makeover—one of several to surface in Spain in recent years—has prompted calls for stricter regulation of the field

Moshe Nahon Synagogue in Tangier, Morocco. This is a flattened view of a 360-degree photograph from Diarna’s archives.

Virtual Travel

Inside the Incredible Effort to Recreate Historic Jewish Sites Destroyed Years Ago

The digital venture, called Diarna, takes you back to painstakingly revived synagogues and destinations once lost to history

Restoration work at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has paused as France works to control the spread of COVID-19.

Covid-19

Notre-Dame Restoration Pauses Amid France's Two-Week Lockdown

Lead decontamination policies enacted in August are now in conflict with measures to prevent spread of COVID-19

A couple passes by the fence in front of Notre-Dame in Paris on December 24, 2019.

Is Notre-Dame Too Fragile to Be Saved?

The cathedral’s rector says there is a “50 percent chance” that scaffolding will collapse, causing further damage

Left: Half-restored version of Vermeer's "Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window" / Right: Unrestored version

Cool Finds

Restoration Reveals Long-Lost Cupid Painted Over After Vermeer’s Death

In an unusual move, the Dresden gallery has opted to display the half-restored painting prior to concluding conservation efforts

The new designs call for the reopening of a long shuttered underground passageway that connects the garden to the museum plaza, as well as plans for a new area for large-scale contemporary works, performance spaces and intimate settings for the museum’s masterpiece collections.

American South

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden to Undergo First Redesign in More Than 40 Years

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s design provides easier access from the National Mall and space for larger installations

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