Following the visit by Barack Obama, there was a new surprise for the Duomo di Milano which, yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 24 May, welcomed the IOC delegation who were inspecting Milan to check the city's candidature to host the 132nd Olympic Committee Session in 2019.
The Committee will evaluate whether to assign the 2024 Olympics and the 2026 Winter Olympics to the capital of Lombardy, and the proclamation will take place on 15 September in Lima in Peru. In the meantime, the delegation of the International Olympic Committee, led by the President of CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee), Giovanni Malagò with secretary general Roberto Fabbricini, vice-secretary Carlo Mornati, project leader for the dossier Diana Bianchedi and Regional Councillor for Sport Antonio Rossi, accompanied the two inspectors Ser Miang Ng (Singapore) and Willy KaltSchmitt Lujan (Guatemala) to admire the incomparable and stunning architectural beauty of Milan's Duomo, the greatest example of international Gothic style, the third largest Cathedral in Europe, but above all the internationally recognised symbol of the capital of Lombardy.
The delegation was received by the President of the Veneranda Fabbrica, Mons. Gianantonio Borgonovo, who after a welcome speech and a brief introduction to the ongoing restoration projects of the Fabbrica, the institution that has been supervising work since 1386, presented them with the book “Protection”, which tells the story of the devotion of the citizens towards the “Madonnina”: a maternal figure of peace and harmony that embraces the world to bring a message of hope, an echo of Divine Love.
After a guided tour amongst the majestic columns of the Cathedral, lit up by the sunlight filtering through the coloured stained glass windows, they ended their visit on the Terraces, admiring the panoramic view of the city's skyline amid the Duomo's rose-coloured marble statues and unique decorations, some of them curious. Indeed, amongst the falconature are sports champions like Primo Carnera, amongst the corbels there are tennis rackets and an ice-axe with climbing boots, a clear sign of how sport has influenced the culture and history of society.
“An exciting and sensational experience” in the Cathedral, an example of evolution and constant change over the centuries, that perfectly reflects the growth and potential of Milan for the future.
We thank CONI for kindly granting use of the pictures. Photo credit: FOTO CONI Gabutti - GMT