SHARECOMMENTMORE

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) - The public has been invited to watch a Tampa Bay-area museum restore four masterworks by Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali.

Conservation efforts that are usually off-limits are open for the next two weeks at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.

A nine-member team will spend up to 10 hours a day restoring four of the museum's eight Dali masterworks.

Dali Museum deputy director Joan Kropf tells The Tampa Tribunethat the massive canvases haven't been cleaned since the 1970s. Because of their size, the artworks aren't covered in glass or kept in the museum's vault. That exposes them to sweat, dirt, grime and other pollutants that can deteriorate the canvases.

The museum has 96 original oil paintings by Dali. It's the second largest collection of his work outside Spain.