Maintenance check for Gates of Paradise replica

The doors have been on the Baptistery since 1990

Samantha Vaughn
June 26, 2018 - 16:42

For the first time since their inception nearly 30 years ago, the replica of Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise will undergo a check-up by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. The initial phase of the project calls for the workshop to be set up, but work on the doors is scheduled to begin next week, dividing the efforts into two stages, one for each door, so as to not have too a large an impact on tourism. The doors, installed in 1990, are a popular tourist attraction and point of study for those who opt not to see the real Gates of Paradise inside the Opera del Duomo Museum behind the cathedral.


Ph. Opera del Duomo Firenze / Claudio Giovannini


Just like the originals, the copies of Ghiberti’s doors were made in bronze and gold, using the exact same techniques the Renaissance artist used 600 years ago. The project was entrusted to Aldo Marinelli, of the Galleria Frilli, using plaster casts that were made during a post-WWII restoration. The entire undertaking was financed by the Japanese entrepreneur Choichiro Motoyama, who contributed a billion lire to the job.


The coming project isn’t a restoration but rather a check-up of its state of conservation, necessary after being outside for three decades. The work will allow for officials to slow its deterioration and restore the bronze colouring to the worn surfaces. The project is expected to last until mid-September.

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