Art: Hardy Masterpiece

Soon after the world's best-known painting was finished (1498), rumors got around that it had been painted not in tempera (egg-white base) but in oils. As the years passed, the huge fresco on the refectory wall of Milan's convent church, Santa Maria delle Grazie, mildewed, flaked and scaled. The experts, who kept trying to patch up the painting with secret preparations of glues and varnishes, did it almost as much damage as time and weather.

Last week the Allied Commission announced that Leonardo da Vinci's faded, dusty masterpiece, The Last Supper, had survived time, bungling repairs and bombs. The convent's roof had...

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