What is most striking about Milan Duomo are its origins and its history, which tell us of a slow and patient work, centuries-long, carried out by artists both famous and not, of contributions from wealthy families, but also from the working class, and from workshops that were melting pots of different languages, but who understood one another and masterfully created the Cathedral’s decorations.
The decoration is made up of countless marble statues, many of which are periodically removed from the Monument for conservation needs and stored in the Marble Workshop, the Veneranda Fabbrica’s studio on the outskirts of Milan, where new statues are born and at the same time those that are structurally more fragile find refuge. Nevertheless, many of these works are still able to recount the history of the Duomo and of the intertwining histories with the surrounding area: it is from this that “Adopt a Statue” arises, the Veneranda Fabbrica’s initiative that, also thanks to the collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendence of fine arts and landscape for the metropolitan city of Milan, has as its main objective the recovery of the historical pieces, offering them on temporary loan to companies and private individuals, in return for a contribution destined for the restoration of the Cathedral.
This is what Generalfinance SpA, a company operating in the financial sector, with offices in Milan and Biella, has done with great sensibility and responsibility by having chosen to contribute to the restoration of the statue of the Giant (known as Giant 29 in the Duomo Worksite’s old numbering system), one of the works chosen for the project.
Generalfinance invites us to leaf through the pages of a marvellous family history book, where the generosity of a patron is deeply rooted in Milan. A Milan where the Fabbrica produced wine on the many lands it owned, used as income to support the costs of the work site. In this sense, Giant 29, returned to its original beauty by the knowing hands of the restorers, will be on temporary loan to the company for three years, and it will initially be placed and exhibited in the Barricaia – the most noble area of the Wine Cellar – of La Collina dei Ciliegi in Erbin (Grezzana, Verona) to celebrate – in a symbolic journey – the places that represent the roots of Generalfinance.
Images by Marco Ligabue ©
THE STATUE: GIANT 29
The splendid statue of the Giant, dating back to the first half of the 18th century, represents a male figure covered in undulating drapery, worn around the waist and on one shoulder. It is one of 96 giants that decorate the external walls of Milan Duomo and that both functionally and metaphorically support the gargoyles. This giant in particular, coming from the southside of the Cathedral and removed from there in a year unknown to us, was part of a group of sculptures that