Art Dealer Removes Varnish From 200-Year-Old Painting, And People Are Obsessed

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Oct. 30 2018, Updated 10:58 a.m. ET

My father's a contractor. Occasionally, I'd go on jobs with him during the summer and help clean up here and there and awkwardly dance to the bachata music his workers would blast on the radio. I had a great time on those job-sites, especially watching some of the more skilled professionals.

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The painters were incredible. Some of them were so efficient that the tarps they laid down were mere formalities. Others could lay a foundation or erect a first story frame with such precision and alacrity, it looked as natural as breathing to them. My favorite thing to watch, though, were the power-washings. 

There was something about seeing a formerly grime and soot-covered surface baptized and emerge clean again. In fact, it's something a lot of people find oddly satisfying to watch. Old becomes new again. Years removed in an instant. There's even a whole subreddit devoted to watching people power washing old stuff to make it look new again. Who would have thought?

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There's an art world equivalent to this satisfying phenomenon - art restoration. And watching it happen in real time is even more amazing than seeing a car or slab of concrete become pristine again. 

Look at this oily mess get clean right before your eyes. The years just peel away.

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Such a difference.

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People are already clamoring for live streams of this kind of work.

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While others used the video as a chance to make memes.

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Others are just amazed by the process behind restoring the painting and not having it turn out like the infamous Jesus fiasco.

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The video was so mesmerizing it made some people rethink their careers.

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And this guy had the same exact thought I did.

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The restoration was simply magical.

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