Restoration workshop of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence. Restaurateurs at work (photo Ambra Nepi)
The “Restoration Workshop” of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, in via dello Studio in Florence, will exceptionally be open to the public, free of charge, on Thursday 8 September from 9.30 am to 8.00 pm, without reservation.
The Opera has decided to celebrate the day on which its foundation occurs 726 years ago, on 8 September 1296, the day in which the Nativity of Mary is also celebrated, offering Florentines and everyone this opportunity.
Inside the Bottega, there will be restorers of the Opera who will study some of the visitors and explain their history and activities. At the moment in the Bottega it will be possible to see in addition to the beautiful place, which recalls the ancient artisan workshop of antiquity, the copies made by hand by the restorers / scalellini of the statues of Pope Celestine I, Pope Gregory VII and Pope Leo the Great that will replace the original (currently under restoration and in the future museum) on the nineteenth-century facade of the Duomo. The works of the students of the course to become restoration technicians will also be visible.
Like the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the restoration workshop has over 700 years of life, because it was founded at the same time. The first headquarters of the Bottega were located in a room behind the apse of the Cathedral. Later it was moved to an adjacent building, which was transferred today by Filippo Brunelleschi, who was transferred today to the ancient Opera house (where the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is located). Here the sculptors of the restoration workshop worked under a large canopy that no longer exists. In the eighteenth century the shop was moved to another location, called “the rotunda”, still located in Piazza delle Pallottole. The last and definitive move took place around the middle of the 19th century, in via dello Studio, where the restoration workshop is still located today.
The main purpose of the restoration workshop was to carry out the sculptural and architectural decoration of the Cathedral and the Bell Tower. The workshop workers were stonecutters, that is, sculptors specialized in working with marble. Over the centuries and in particular since the twentieth century, alongside this traditional work, the restoration of all the decorative and architectural parts of the Cathedral and its monuments has increased. Most of the sculptures that adorned the Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower have been, over time, for conservation reasons, museumized and in their place copies made by the stonemasons of the restoration workshop placed in their place.
Source: Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore – Press office
All the news from Florence