The history of Candoglia marble, the material from which the entire Cathedral of Milan is made and whose name comes from the quarry found at the mouth of the Ossola Valley, is made up of age-old historical links with the surrounding territory. Each block of marble destined for the Duomo's construction would navigate the waters of the river Ticino from the quarry down to the Darsena in Milan, where at that time there was a old marble workshop teeming with artisans and workers. It was here that they laboured on and adorned the marble that was finally to be placed on the Monument.
Today, more than six centuries later, a precious “piece” of this history will retrace this current, though this time upstream, arriving in Castelletto Ticino, in the province of Novara, not far from the banks of the river where at one time the boats and barges cut through the waves, transporting the Candoglia blocks engraved with the famous acronym AUF (Ad Usum Fabricae, i.e. exempt from duty, hence the Milanese expression “a ufo” meaning free of charge).
It is here that Techbau, a leading company in the engineering and construction sector, will exhibit the 17th-century statue depicting “Saint Michael and the devil” for a year with the possibility of extending the loan, after having supported its restoration. Saint Michael will greet those who pass through the company's atrium, just as the innumerable statues of Milan Duomo have always done: silently observing and watching over the many worshippers, citizens, and visitors who walk under the shadow of the Cathedral every day.
Nell’iconografia tradizionale San Michele Arcangelo (dall’ebraico Mīkā’el’ chi come Dio?’) è capo supremo dell’esercito celeste, viene raffigurato protetto da un’armatura, nell’atto di brandire una spada per scendere in battaglia e fronteggiare le forze del male. Questo gruppo scultoreo rappresenta San Michele in abito militare, il volto è ruotato, orientato verso il basso ad osservare con disprezzo il demonio ai suoi piedi, del quale colpiscono le mostruose fattezze.L’opera, databile al XVII secolo e di autore non identificato, ornava un capitello di pilone all’interno del Duomo, precisamente il P66, a ridosso della controfacciata e in prossimità del fianco meridionale della Cattedrale.
“Adopt a Statue” is an opportunity for important enhancement that gives new life to these masterpieces of art and it has been made possible also thanks to the collaboration of the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Metropolitan City of Milan.
For further information:
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 20122 Milan
Tel.: 800.528.477 (Italy only)