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I’m now convinced that Botticelli played an important part in its production, and am delighted it has once more gone on public display. [. . .] We had to proceed millimeter by millimeter, given the fragility of the panel and the original paint layers. Removing the dirt and old varnish to reveal the true beauty of the Madonna’s features felt like witnessing the rebirth of a masterpiece.
Clearly this beautiful painting came from Botticelli’s studio. Probably Botticelli himself is responsible for more than a bit of it. A great deal more study is needed to solve the riddles of ‘how much’, ‘what parts’, ‘why’, ‘when’, and hopefully the painting can now be studied further by scholars and the public alike.