The Pulpits of the Passion and the Resurrection have been freed from scaffolding and returned to public view.
Restoration began on Donatello’s masterpieces, situated in the central nave of the San Lorenzo basilica, in September 2010 and was finished in April 2017. Nearly seven years were required for the completion of the project as the pulpits had serious structural problems and the condition of each scene varied considerably, in terms of its bronze elements and wooden inlay. Over time the works had undergone repeated restoration and maintenance measures with aggressive methods that had compromised the original finishes. This recent cleaning, on the other hand, enabled restorers to retrieve traces of the gilding.
Both pulpits were restored with funding made available by the Italian ministry of tourism, cultural heritage and activities and by the Opera Medicea Laurenziana association, which governs San Lorenzo, with monies from bank Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
Initial surveying was conducted by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure scientific laboratory, in partnership with Istituto Ifac-Cnr and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of Pisa and Fundació Bosch i Gimpera of the University of Barcelona. Examinations were carried out on the characterization of altered patinas and components of the bronze alloy, as well as an extensive X-ray exploration.
The pulpits can be viewed in the basilica (entrance 6 euro) from Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday 1:30-5:30pm.