Visitors can see the famous Florentine Baptistry mosaics up close

Florence, Italy – Visitors to one of Florence’s most iconic monuments, the Baptistery of San Giovanni (opposite the Duomo), will get up close to the ceiling mosaics thanks to an innovative approach to systematic planning You’re getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see recovery work.

Rather than restricting public access during the six-year cleaning of the vault, authorities built a scaffolding platform for art restorers. This also allows a small number of visitors to see the ceiling mosaics at eye level.

“We had to turn this opportunity into an opportunity to make it even more accessible and available to the public through a special route that allows visitors to touch the mosaics directly,” said Architecture, which is in charge of the restoration site. House Samuel Cachaguri said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Caciagli called the new scaffolding tour of the Baptistery Vault “a unique opportunity unlikely to be repeated in the decades to come.”

The scaffolding mushrooms up from the floor of the baptistery, reaching a height of 32 meters (105 feet) above the ground. Visits he will begin on February 24 and must be booked in advance.

The octagonal Baptistery is one of Florence’s most prominent monuments. Its exterior features alternating geometric patterns in white Carrara and green Prato marble, and his three large bronze doors depicting scenes from the Bible.

But inside, you’ll find spectacular mosaic scenes of the Last Judgment and John the Baptist dating back to the 13th century, created using about 10 million pieces of stone and glass on the 1,000-square-meter dome and walls.

Restoration in Florence, Italy
Chiara Gisola (R) and Roberto Nardi work to restore the mosaic that adorns the dome of the Baptistery of St. John, one of the oldest churches in Florence, central Italy, February 7, 2023. (Andrew Medicini) / AP photo)

The six-year restoration project is the first in over a century. First, research the current state of the mosaic to determine what needs to be done. Expected work includes addressing water damage to the mortar, removing decades of grime, and re-fixing the stone to keep it from coming off.

“[This first phase] It’s a bit like diagnosing a patient. A series of diagnostic investigations are conducted to understand what pathologies of degradation exist not only in the mosaic material, but also in the entire attachment package that holds this mosaic material to the structure behind it. ” said Beatriz Agostini, who is in charge of the restoration work.

The Baptistery of San Giovanni and its mosaics have been restored over the centuries, much of it inefficiently or even damaging the structure. During his one unsuccessful work in 1819, an entire section of the mosaic was detached. Persistent water damage from a leaking roof was not resolved until 2014-2015.

Roberto Nardi, head of the Archaeological Conservation Center, a private company managing the restoration, said the planned work would use materials different from the original types of stone and mortar used centuries ago. I said I would not install it.

“It’s a blend of science, technology, experience and tradition,” he said.

The origin of the baptism ceremony is shrouded in mystery. The current structure dates from his 4th or 5th century, but some believe it was once a pagan temple.

Francesco Sporteri