Patrons help French restore fresco in Rome palace

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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