Art: The Restoration Drama

In spotless laboratories, well locked and hidden away in the basements of the world's great museums, hundreds of men in white smocks are working feverishly, day in and day out, at "restoring" art masterpieces. They can take a brown, wrinkled, flaking canvas and turn it into a picture that looks like new. They can also turn Rembrandt's Night Watch into a Day Watch, expose an extra pair of ears on the Van Eyck brothers' Adoration of the Lamb, or transform Brueghel's Hunters in the Snow from a haunting evocation of winter dusk into a Grandma Moses-type picture of sparkling noontime cheer....

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