The strength of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano, over the centuries, has been that of always being faithful to itself and its mission. According to this story, also in the semester during which the Cathedral – symbol of the city of Expo – was at the centre of the world welcoming millions of worshippers and visitors with extraordinary openings and great cultural activities, the Great Construction Sites of the Veneranda Fabbrica did not stop their endless work.
THE NEW LIGHT OF THE DUOMO
The greatest effort to valorise the inside of the Cathedral was the remaking of the lighting system, realised by Studio Ferrara Palladino e Associati, inaugurated on the last 1st May by the Cardinal Archbishop Angelo Scola. A mighty intervention that brought more adequate led lighting solutions to replace the old halogen lamps, so bringing light on the five naves and on the capitals – thanks to the new technologies – and making possible a new point of view over the Duomo. The intervention was necessarily completed with the re-set of the electrical system and the implementation of a proper system of special structures and security installations, as clearly requested by security authorities. A new system for video shootings in the Cathedral, ideal prosecution of the audio system recently set-up, dialoguing with the lighting system, makes today possible to take advantage of a new media, capable of granting a high quality and unseen perspectives for everything recorded and broadcasted from the Duomo.
In the next months, the intervention for the cleaning of the internal areas will also continue, being necessary for the enlightenment of the entire surface of the Duomo.
TAKING CARE OF THE DUOMO UNDER THE MADONNINA
Also huge was the irrevocable restoration on the structural elements and parts of the Cathedral. Among these, the restoration of the bottom of the Main Spire – and in particular of the Lantern, where the eight reverse flying buttresses, granting a fundamental function of bracing and distribution of the great pressures of the structure, showed a masonry structure compromised since the last intervention dating back to 1941, even before the bombings of August 1943. During summer, the restoration of the Pestagalli spire began, located next to the Main Spire, whose precious structure – a slender central pinnacle linked to a pierced external curtain by a thick series of little arches – found in the bad conservation state of the arches an alarming critical element. Ongoing and scheduled for the next months are the restoration of the crockets, the maintenance of the arches AR1, AR2, ar1 (as identified according to the code always used by the Veneranda Fabbrica), located on the south-west side of the Terraces and working as buttresses; the restoration of the windows 204 and 205, left for a long time without maintenance, close to the areas open to the public and presenting many damages, fractures and detachments in the thin marble elements outlining the internal pattern of the windows; and the restoration of the spires found in critical conditions after the last monitoring.
FASTER ELEVATORS TO DISCOVER THE TERRACES
To conclude, thanks to the remaking of all the elevator systems, realised by the multinational group Schindler S.p.A, that grant today a faster ascent and a greater capacity, the Duomo Terraces are now even closer and more open to the public, to keep sharing with Milanese people and with the world the same beauty that Stendhal defined as “extraordinary and unique”.