Nothing less than an artist like Miguel Angel said it was so beautiful that could grace the entrance to heaven and called her the Gate of paradise. But after six centuries in the open, the Renaissance Puerta del Paraíso in the main square lost its luster and was retired in 1990.
Now the historic gate has returned to its original glory thanks to the restoration that has taken 33 years and that involved the use of lasers and chemical baths to remove centuries of dirt and oxidation.
The plating of the Gate of paradise it was created by Lorenzo Ghiberti after it was commissioned by the guild of fabric importers from Florence.
Ghiberti, a renowned sculptor and metallurgist, it took 27 years to complete the job and included a bald image of himself on the doors, which were finally unveiled in 1452.
Double doors are made of ten elaborate panels depicting scenes from Old Testament, including the creation of Adam and Eve, David cutting off Goliath's head with a sword and Cain killing his brother Abel.
For nearly 600 years, they adorned the east side of the 11th century Baptistery, an octagonal basilica that faces the famous black and white duomo, or cathedral. Dante and other notable Renaissance figures, including members of the Medici family, were baptized here.
During the WWII, the doors, which are over 16 feet high and weigh 9 tons, were withdrawn and hidden in a railway tunnel to keep them safe from aerial bombardments.
The 1966 flood left them in such poor condition that they were permanently removed from the baptistery in 1990. They were replaced by some replicas of the doors, paid for by a Japanese millionaire, which will remain in place.
Restoration work started in 1979with specialists using the latest scientific technologies to restore the golden doors to their original luster.
They will be put to the public in the Duomo Museum in Florence in September and they'll be in a big closet behind non-reflective glass. The humidity inside the cabin should have a maximum of 15 degree to prevent them from rusting again.
“The restoration of one of the greatest Renaissance masterpieces has been completed”Says Lorenzo Ornaghi, the minister of culture and heritage.
The restoration was funded by Friends of Florence (Friends of Florence), an American non-profit foundation, and the Italian Government.
It was a "long, complex and in high demand”Operation says Franco Lucchesi, the president of the Duomo Museum. "He has returned a great Florentine masterpiece to the future of mankind”Says Cristina Acidini, a city heritage official.
With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.