2012, the year in which the Get your Spire project was launched, also saw the beginning of the restoration works on the Duomo to ensure that this great monument, central to the history of Veneranda Fabbrica, will be looking its very best for Expo 2015.
These vital interventions have been made possible thanks to all those who have contributed to Veneranda Fabbrica’s appeal.
The Spires are architectural elements typical of the Gothic style. Rich in decorations and statuary (there are over one thousand eight hundred statues) most of which are 17 metres tall, they are very fragile due to their slender structure. The fine Candoglia pink marble has been damaged by differences in temperature, pollution, atmospheric agents and exposure to the sun on one side; there are also problems connected with rusting of the pins, loss of sealing and rainwater penetration.
Restoration of the spires is organised into the following stages:
- survey and study of the data;
- design and construction of the scaffolding;
- checking and re-doing of the electrical systems;
- cleaning of the marble surfaces with consolidation of the sound parts;
- restoration of the damaged architectural elements;
- removal and replacement of the parts beyond repair.
Over the last two years, at the eighteen Cathedral restoration sites, work has been forging ahead. Thanks to the contributions of national and local bodies and private institutions, and the donations received, the work has been concentrated in particular on the Main Spire, where the restoration work began back in 2009-2010. Currently the scaffolding has been lowered to a height of 75 metres, with regilding of the statue of the Madonnina. Restoration of the Beato Bascapè spire is currently being completed (G37 – according to the historic site numbering g15), and the scaffolding has been almost completely dismantled. The current interventions are focusing mainly on the Santo del Levante spire (G38 – identified by the site numbering as g16).
Parallel to the work on the spires, restoration of the covering of the Central Terrace is ongoing, with removal and reconstruction of the flagstones. Restoration of the pediments continues, restored to their former splendour by cleaning and consolidation, and accurate reconstruction from scratch of the parts beyond repair.
Inside the Duomo, cleaning and static control of the capitals and vaults is ongoing and restoration of the Altar of the Madonna of the Tree has been completed using the latest technologies. Cleaning and consolidation of the Counter-façade, restoration of the Ambulatory, Ciborium and Tabernacle have all been completed. Work is currently being carried out to restore the inlaid floor by Pellegrini and the south side of the Cathedral with renovation of the Altar of San Giovanni Bono, scheduled for completion by Christmas 2014.
Veneranda Fabbrica’s objective is to preserve the emotion and beauty of the marble and work continues non-stop to meet this challenge: donate now
For further information:
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 – Milano
Monday-Friday: 9.30-12.30 pm and 2.30-6.00 pm
Phone: +39 02.89096554