Patrons help French restore fresco in Rome palace

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Photo - Cracks mark the frescoed ceilings of the Carracci Gallery in the Farnese Palace that hosts the French Embassy in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. The World Monuments Fund Europe will allocate some 800 million Euros for the restoration of the about 140 square meters of 16th century frescoes by Annibale and Agostino Carracci that will begin mid March and are expected to be completed in 2015. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Cracks mark the frescoed ceilings of the Carracci Gallery in the Farnese Palace that hosts the French Embassy in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. The World Monuments Fund Europe will allocate some 800 million Euros for the restoration of the about 140 square meters of 16th century frescoes by Annibale and Agostino Carracci that will begin mid March and are expected to be completed in 2015. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
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ROME (AP) — Some of the most splendid frescoes in one of Rome's most stunning Renaissance palazzi are about to be restored.

The Carracci Gallery, a salon whose ceiling was frescoed with sensual nudes and playful cherubs to celebrate the wedding of a pope's niece, will be closed to tourists in the Farnese Palace until late spring 2015.

The palace is home to the French Embassy, which said Wednesday the patronage of the World Monuments Fund Europe will help cover the 800,000 euro ($1.1 million) restoration of the 400-year-old frescoes.

Besides cleaning the paintings, restoration beginning mid-March involves repairing cracks and water infiltration damage.

With France facing European Union pressure to control public finances, Deputy Ambassador Errki Maillard promised the restoration will be at zero cost to French taxpayers.

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