Monitoring will begin soon of the four monuments making up piazza Duomo: the Cathedral, Giotto’s bell tower, Brunelleschi’s dome and, for the first time since its recent restoration, the Baptistery. The work is expected to last two weeks and is part of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore’s biannual check of the monuments in order to review the state of the surfaces, identify potential deterioration, particularly weather-related, and plan for necessary maintenance or restoration projects.
Over the next few weeks, visitors to piazza Duomo will find a 56-meter long crane as it monitors the marble surfaces of the monuments, starting with the Cathedral before moving on to the others. In autumn of this year, a larger crane will be employed to reach the highest points of the Dome and the bell tower.
The twice-yearly monitoring has a long history of activity, going back to the Opera’s very foundation in 1296. Historically, workers at the Opera would check the marble surfaces by repelling down the buildings with a rope. Although these workers, members of the Restoration Workshop, or Bottega del restauro dell’Opera, were once responsible for the sculptural and architectural decoration of the Cathedral and bell tower, their successors today devote themselves primarily to the maintenance and conservation of the monuments.