London, Nov 29 : Cutting-edge laser technology has been used to restore Donatello's 15th century bronze statue of David slaying Goliath, in Florence, Italy.
According to a report in the Telegraph, laser technology was used to clean more than a century of grime from the statue, created by the artist Donatello in the 15th century.
Donatello's David is regarded as crucial to the history of Western art because it was the first free-standing bronze nude to be created since the time of the Greeks and Romans.
It created a sensation when it was created, probably in the 1440s.
It is considered one of the most important Renaissance sculptures, ranking alongside the more famous white marble David by Michelangelo, which was restored in 2004.
"The David is incomparably more beautiful now than ever before, even though it would seem impossible," said Beatrice Paolozzi Strozzi, director of the Bargello Museum that hosts the statue.
"We could only intervene now with the newest laser techniques; even the most delicate mechanical procedure would have hurt it," she said.
The 200,000-euro restoration also involved the polishing of a thin layer of gold that adds luster to the statue.
The bronze statue, standing just over 5 feet tall, depicts the young David with his foot on Goliath's severed head and a large sword in his hand.
Apart from a pair of boots and a hat bound with laurels, the figure is naked and almost feminine in its physique.
It originally occupied the courtyard of the Medici palace in Florence. After the expulsion of the Medici in 1496, it was placed in the courtyard of the city's Palazzo Vecchio.
Donatello, whose full name was Donato di Niccolo' di Betto Bardi, was the son of a woolcomber from Florence.
He trained as a sculptor in Florence and Rome and his departure from previous art forms is credited with kick-starting the Renaissance.