What is going on at the Construction Yard of the Duomo? This morning at 8.30 am, amidst the wonder of passers-by and the devotion in the eyes of deeply moved onlookers… the copy of the Madonnina was moved from behind the choir of the Cathedral, where it had been displayed since July 2016, to the internal courtyard of San Gottardo, which connects the Church to the Museo del Duomo.
The reproduction of the Statue of the Virgin, made of bronze with the “ lost wax casting” method, was ordered and then donated by Fonderia Nolana del Giudice to the Expo pavilion of Veneranda Fabbrica in 2015, “an absolutely faithful copy of the original, in a 1:1 scale, to allow all the faithful and visitors to approach and contemplate this sign of protection”.
Now, in 2018, as decided by the Scientific Committee of Veneranda Fabbrica, it has found its final and natural site in the Museo del Duomo, after having first been installed at the offices of the Lombardy Regional Administration in Milan and then in the Duomo.
In fact, the Museum relates the life of Milan’s Cathedral from the origins. It preserves the memory and multifaceted identity of a Monument that has become the pulsating heart of the City, hosting a history of intellectual brilliance, passion, creativity and expertise. This has been achieved with the efforts of the many people who have worked intensely at the Fabbrica for the statue of the Virgin to spread out its arms to the world from the highest point of the city.
Already in the 18th century Hall dedicated to the Madonnina, almost at the end of the Museum path, we can admire two clay scale models, both deemed the work of the sculptor Giuseppe Perego, a walnut scale model of the Assunta by engraver Giuseppe Antignati, and the original internal iron structure of the Madonnina, which was removed and replaced during the restoration carried out in the 1960s.
But as required by the 1765 competition, the Madonnina was conceived as “the highly visible statue that had to decorate the external area of the Duomo”; hence, it was essential to place the copy in an outdoor site, and what could have been better than the courtyard of the Church of San Gottardo! To maintain visual contact with the icon of the Duomo during the visit. An absolutely necessary symbol.
Visitors to Milan will always carry the light of the Madonnina with them!