Milan Duomo’s Main Spire, which supports the statue of the Holy Virgin – our Madunina – 108 metres above the ground, is as much a fascinating piece of architecture as it is complex, and its restoration is in effect the most challenging conducted by the Veneranda Fabbrica over the last 15 years.
Today, the worksite of the Main Spire has reached its final phase, as well as its most crucial: the restoration of the internal structure of the Tiburio, the base of the Spire itself which provides stability and support. In order to support this important objective – at a particularly difficult time for the Duomo due to the pandemic and its effects on tourism – Intesa Sanpaolo is promoting a fundraiser through For Funding, its online crowdfunding platform, which everyone can freely access.
THE WORKSITE OF THE MAIN SPIRE
The daily commitment of the Veneranda Fabbrica, the historical institution responsible for the conservation and enhancement of the Cathedral, is divided across multiple operational sectors, including the unceasing Duomo Worksite.
The project of the Main Spire has involved, from 1490 to this day, high-level ingenuity and professionalism, coming from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Amadeo, Dolcebuono, Francesco Croce, Pietro Pestagalli and Carlo Ferrari da Passano. Complex architecture and a centuries-long history defines the Main Spire, whose repair today is carried out by a team of skilled marble workers, masons, and scaffolders engaged in the consolidation of the eight, large corner pillars; in the repair of marble damaged over time and still bearing the deep wounds of the 1943 bombings; in the protection and repair of the iron bindings, wisely put in place five centuries ago to withhold the stresses on the base caused by the weight of this incredible bolt of lightning reaching up to the sky.
On the Main Spire stands the Madonnina, which represents the heart and soul of the city. Created by sculptor Giuseppe Perego in 1774, the Madonnina is the religious symbol par excellence of Milan, yet also a very powerful civic sign as, during the Five Days of Milan in 1848, Luigi Torelli and Scipione Bagaggi raised the tricolour on the statue of the Virgin to signal the evacuation of the city by Austrian troops. This sight awakened the pride of the fighters in the barricades, leading them to victory.
Even today, on the occasion of solemn religious and civil celebrations, the Italian flag flies from the halberd, found on the right of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
The effort and passion of our specialised workers contribute to one single great goal: to care for, protect, and enhance the Cathedral’s history spanning over 630 years.
AIMS OF THE FOR FUNDING FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
The cost of the work on the Main Spire that is yet to be completed amounts to approximately €2,190,000, including restoration costs, marble reconstruction, scaffolding, tools, and staff. Via For Funding, the aim is to collect €500,000, thanks to which it will be possible to mainly provide for the consolidation of the strong wall structures of the two pillars, as well as the restoration and reconstruction of six statues, whose effigies are unfortunately no longer recoverable.
The work planned for the completion of this impressive construction site also includes the consolidation of the other six pillars, the completion of the lighting system, and the restoration of the 48 splendid statues that adorn the Tiburio’s eight large windows.
The worksite, according to current estimates, will last for another couple of years. With the precious support of all those who care about the important heritage of art and faith that the Duomo contains within, we can bring this enormous restoration to a conclusion, all with one great common goal: to maintain the splendour of the Milanese Cathedral and preserve its centuries-long history.
For further information:
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 – 20122 Milan
Freephone number (Italy only): 800.528.477
Fax. +39 02.72022419