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Annibale Carracci ceiling to be restored

image captionThe Carracci frescoes took 11 years to complete

Annibale Carracci's frescoed ceiling in Rome's Palazzo Farnese - home of the French Embassy - is to be restored, it has been announced.

Thought to be one of the most influential Renaissance commissions in Italy, the project is expected to cost 1m Euros (£870,000).

It is being funded by the World Monuments Fund, the French Embassy in Italy and the Fondation de l'Orangerie pour la Philan­thropie Individuelle.

Work is set to begin later this year.

In 1597 Carracci was commissioned to decorate the ceiling of the palace using the theme, the love of the Gods.

Cardinal Edoardo Farnese chose the subject of love to mark the wedding of the Duke of Parma to the grand-niece of Pope Clement VIII, Margherita Aldobrandini.

The work, which includes a series of mythological scenes and the Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne, took 11 years to complete.

Carracci's brothers helped him complete the work, along with artists Giovanni Lanfranco and Domenichino.

Work to stabilise the fresco cycle was first undertaken in the late 17th century by artist Carlo Maratta.

Further work was carried out in 1923, 1936 and 1994.