One Italian man stood on Michelangelo's shoulders to bring heaven to light.


Gianluigi Colalucci cleaning Michelangelo's The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. (1986)

Gianluigi Colalucci cleaning Michelangelo's The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. (1986)

Gianluigi Colalucci was 91 years old when he died in Rome on March, 28. The former chief restorer of the Vatican Museums spent 14 years of his life brining Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel back to life. Colalucci made his mark in history by erasing the dulling marks of history from masterpieces. Centuries of dust, soot from candles, and the breath of countless people had darkened the brilliance of the frescoes. It is fair to say that Colalucci stood on the master's shoulders to restore his works to their original glory. My friend, Dr. Federico Pellegrini, is one of the most accomplished and celebrated guides in Rome. Federico's father Sandro stood on the scaffoldings with Professor Colalucci during the first days of his monumental work. Click below for a fascinating podcast that tells the incredible story of Gianluigi Colalucci. Join us as we honor the one man who the Vatican placed their faith in to restore the most revered and precious artworks of the Roman Catholic Church.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)