By Kim Glovas

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–A grand restoration project is underway at Villanova University.

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Artists, scientists and others are helping to clean and restore a 17th century Italian painting.

The painting, Pietro da Cortona’s “Triumph of David” has been hanging in Villanova’s Falvey Library for 50 years.

Now, art conservator Kristin de Ghetaldi of the University of Delaware, and two interns are working on the masterpiece.

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“We’re going to be cleaning, removing degraded, dirty, discolored, unoriginal materials, like varnish coatings and overpaints that’s been applied over many, many years.”

She says it’s going to take two years to complete, with help from scientists like VU chemistry professor Anthony Lagalante.

“The science side of this is that we can supply evidence about the materials and sometimes, methods used by the artist in laying down the paint to the canvas.”

All of the work on the 12-by-9 foot canvas is being done in the library and in full view of passing students, faculty and curiosity seekers.

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The work started in August and is expected to take two years to complete.