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​French embassy in Rome shows off frescoes after face-lift

ROME -- Tourists in Rome can admire 400-year-old frescoes in the French embassy after a restoration that has imbued the works with fresh splendor.

The embassy will open the doors of Farnese Palace free of charge Sept. 19-20, including one-time-only evening visiting hours on Sunday. It means the public can visit the Carracci Gallery, a salon whose ceiling was frescoed with sensual nudes and playful cherubs to celebrate the wedding of a pope's niece.

Later, reservations three months in advance will be required for paid, small group visits.

An 18-month-long restoration involving French-Italian teamwork gave the frescoes a much-needed face-lift. The World Monuments Fund made the restoration project possible.

Cardinal Odoardo Farnese commissioned the frescoes in 1597 from Annibale Carracci, who completed the work in 1608 aided by brother Agostino and students.

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