(AP) Winged Victory of Samothrace, the towering Hellenistic sculpture that dominates the Louvre Museum's most frequented staircase, is taking flight away from tourists' gazes for a restoration.
Officials at the famed Paris museum said the 2nd-century B.C. work was to be dismantled, hoisted onto rollers and wheeled to a closed cabin in another gallery for structural work and a meticulous cleaning to revive the original marble hues over the next nine months.
The 5.9-meter (18-foot) sculpture shows remains of the winged Greek goddess of victory, Nike, as she lands on a ship's bow atop a flat base.
The work's flowing garments, energized pose with right leg extended and outstretched wings point to an expert rendering in the high-quality Paros marble, which has yellowed with time.
The project began Tuesday.