The final phase of Florence Baptistery’s restoration is underway: the scaffolding is being dismantled. The baptistery’s exterior and lantern will finally be visible in all their beauty on October 25.
Work began in February 2014—70 years after the last restoration efforts—and has eliminated the buildup and deposits on the baptistery’s marble covering, eight facades, roofing, and lantern. The restoration also redefined the marble elements that have degraded over the years.
Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore oversaw the restoration, in accordance with the Florence province's fine arts and landscape authorities. Costs totaled two million euro, raised through a crowdfunding campaign organised by Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, drawing donations from Unicoop Firenze, Maison Pucci, and thousands of individuals.
The restoration work was particularly complex due to the eight exterior facades which each required different methods for their varied materials and levels of degradation. In support of the Baptistery’s restoration, the Università degli Studi di Firenze and CVBC — CNR conducted numerous laser surveys, iconographic studies, and both historical and diagnostic campaigns. The restoration of the lantern was equally complex, requiring the removal of the gilding on the ball and cross.
The final phases continue in preparation for the fifth Italian Episcopal Conference in Florence in November, which Pope Francis will attend. The new Museo dell’Opera del Duomo will also open its doors to the public October 29.