Autumn always represents a period of beginnings; a new year of work has energetically begun among the construction sites of Milan Duomo. During these months, the workers and craftsmen, are working tirelessly on new restoration projects on Duomo as well as on several precious artistic treasures that the Cathedral safeguards.
2019 has been characterised by the launch of the Duomo Organ’s four-year restoration project, an extraordinary giant with enormous artistic and mechanical value that now needs immediate restoration. Thanks to the fundraising campaign “15,800 notes for the Duomo”, the Veneranda Fabbrica hopes to come together with new and renewed donors in order to continue this project together. Furthermore, internal restoration, work on the Rooftops and the next phase on the majestic site of the Tiburio, where the main spire rises, are to continue.
Looking to the future of the construction sites and to the new year around the corner, we feel very grateful for everything has been done, and we want to thank all of you for your generous support and the affection shown towards the symbol of Milano. We hope you can continue to support the Duomo in the future.”
Mons. Gianantonio Borgonovo
Archpriest of the Duomo
Presidente Dott. Fedele Confalonieri
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
A NEVER-ENDING CONSTRUCTION SITE
GIVE DUOMO DI MILANO ITS VOICE BACK: restoration on the Organ
2019 has been especially marked by the starting of Duomo Organ’s restoration so as to guarantee its safeguarding and conservation. The first phase of restoration, started in spring, was carried out during the summer months finishing with the tuning of the musical instrument. This restoration will affect the mechanical as well as the wooden decorative parts. In this regard, the restoration of the casings and the precious wooden parts is also underway at the Quartana Restoration Studio.
The most urgent restoration is aimed at safeguarding the electromechanical parts, ensuring their correct functioning. This work will affect the north side until the end of 2020, before continuing on the south side for a two-year period, between 2021 and 2022.
The overall cost for this operation is more than €1.3m. For this reason, “15,800 notes for the Duomo” is the fundraising campaign created to support the restoration of the Duomo Organ by appealing to all those who want to continue to write the great Duomo’s melody, giving the voice back to this extraordinary instrument.
THE SITES THAT TOUCH THE SKY
With regard to the Duomo’s external construction sites, the renovation of the Amedeo Spire is about to be concluded while, in the next few months, a similar site is going to start: the restoration of the Cesa Bianchi Spire, the last of the four Spires that surround the Madonnina. Meanwhile, the restoration of the southern flank of the Cathedral continues: many of the climbing arches have been completed and the restoration and cleaning of the walls near the façade of the Duomo are proceeding.
The construction site of the Lower Lantern, which has already been operating since last year, is the engineering challenge that will continue to engage the workforce during the next months. This task, necessary to complete the bold restoration of the Main Spire, is certainly the most daring among those planned. If the usual structural restoration of the marble components on the outside is carried out, an articulated engineering work has been thought up for the inside: suspended from scaffolding and hoisted inside the Duomo, a portion of scaffolding will descend from above the High Altar, half-hidden by the protective safety net, and which will allow work to take place also on the inner surface of the Lower Lantern.
Having completed the restoration of stained glass windows numbers 25 and 26, renovation on the two Sacristies inside Duomo is proceeding to improve and restore the liveability and timeless beauty of vestments and frescoes, damaged by time and weather. The cleaning of the interior surfaces of the southern wall has been also begun in the first half of the nave from the façade, as well as the internal north transept.
THE ARCHIVE: BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND DIGITIZATION
Great news has also arrived from the Archive of the Veneranda Fabbrica: the restoration of the most precious photographs has just been completed. This operation included 410 photographs taken using the first techniques of photographic printing: printing on salted paper, albumen and collodion.
The work was carried out by a restorer specialized in photographic and paper artefacts, who intervened on the original objects.The prints have been the subject of several restorations in order to remove the degradation present on the various parts of the object, or rather the primary medium composed of photographic emulsion and paper, and the eventual secondary support: paper or cardboard.
Now that the body of the older photographs of the Duomo has been restored and the readability of the images improved, the digitization of the materials is proceeding in order to make this important iconographic heritage more easily consultable for researchers and scholars but, above all, it will also be fundamental for the Construction Manager in the Duomo’s various sites.
MAKING A DONATION TO THE VENERANDA FABBRICA HAS NEVER BEEN SO SIMPLE
2019 has been also characterized by the introduction of a new method of supporting the restoration of the Cathedral. In addition to the traditional methods of donation, from this year it is possible to support restoration with a SEPA Direct Debit. With the authorisation of a SEPA Direct Debit, Donors can allow their bank to proceed with the payment of a fixed amount credited to the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo. Through this system, each Donor can choose the amount to be paid and how often to give their support, continuously over time, with the possibility of revoking authorisation at any point.
For any further information:
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 – 20122 Milano
Monday - Friday: 9.30am-12.30pm and 2.30-6pm
Phone number: +800.528.477