Workers at the Manhattan museum on Tuesday carefully vacuumed and dusted the iconic replica as onlookers watched.
The 94-foot-long, 21,000-pound model, which hangs in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, is based on a life-sized blue whale. It was first installed in 1969.
A museum spokesman says the dusting is needed to bring out the whale's details.
The cleaning will take several days.
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