Eataly is donating money to save Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper. (credit: Wikimedia)

Not only is upscale Italian grocery store Eataly selling cheese, meats, gelato, pasta and other fine Italian fare, they’re also helping to preserve one of the world’s most famed works of art, Leonardo da Vinci’s, “The Last Supper.”

The painting — thought to have been competed in 1498 — is in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, and it’s had a pretty tough life.

To name just a few of the hardships it has faced, a doorway was once cut through the painting and later bricked up; French revolutionary anti-clerical troops threw stones at it and scratched out the Apostles’ eyes; an expert called in to remove the painting badly damaged the center — and attempted to reattach the damaged sections with glue; and in World War II the refectory was struck by Allied bombing.

But have no fear, Eataly is coming to the rescue by funding an “advanced air filtration system” that will extend the life of the work for 500 years, reports ARTnews. Because after withstanding all that damage, the painting now faces a much more modern — but no less dangerous — threat: visitors and their microscopic dust. [ARTnews]