Bacteria Are Fighting against Spots and Dirt on Michelangelo’s Sculptures

bacteria cleaning

The color change of the marble of Michelangelo’s sculptures of the Medici family began a long time ago. According to Horowitz, cleaning up dirt and spots began before the pandemic. Back in November 2019, the National Research Council of Italy found out what was behind the mud.

A biologist, Anna Rosa Sprocati, chose around 1,000 bacteria to test them against spots. And some ate dirt as well as marble.

Bacteria began their work on the grave of Giuliano di Lorenzo, Duke of Nemours. They successfully washed his hair and ears. Then a pandemic arrived and the work stopped until October 2020. Then, the team continued the work, releasing the Serratia ficaria SH7 bacterium that ate the remains of Alessandro’s sarcophagus.

This is not the first time bacteria works as an art restorer. Some of them even helped to prevent the painting from getting worse from the very beginning.

Microbes also helped to minimize the largest oil spill in history. They did a great job of consuming large amounts of natural gas.
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