Libertà della Poesia restored

Friends of Florence funds restoration

Editorial Staff
September 11, 2019 - 12:16

The Opera di Santa Croce and Friends of Florence, alongside the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, have collaborated to restore the Libertà della Poesia, Pio Fedi’s renowned statue, dedicated to the poet and dramatist Giovan Battista Niccolini.

 

The statue dates to 1861, and most likely had never been restored aside from a partial cleaning after the flood in 1966. The statue was therefore covered in a thick layer of dust and surface deposits as well as having suffered damage from rainwater dripping through the basilica’s roof over the years, all of which were preventing the statue’s marble surface from being fully appreciated. The restoration project principally involved a thorough chemical cleaning of the surface, removing the layers of dust and sediment, a careful re-coloration of certain areas and repairing the plaster base of the statue.

 

Ph. Friends of Florence

 

The project is linked to the celebrations of the bicentenary of the American General Consulate’s presence in Florence and diplomatic relations between the USA and Tuscany. Simonetta Brandolini, president of Friends of Florence, declared that the foundation chose to support the project on this particular occasion to highlight the bridge between Florence and the USA, citing the fact that the Libertà della Poesia was probably a source of inspiration for the Statue of Liberty in New York. She said that “for us, this work is certainly representative of the values of liberty and independence that are the foundations of American identity.”  From October 2019 to April 2020, a 3D digital reproduction of the statue will form part of an exhibition at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration in New York.

 

Irene Sanesi, president of the Opera di Santa Croce, thanked Friends of Florence for intervening to restore “a work with great symbolic value, made at a time when Santa Croce, after the unification of Italy, became a site of collective history and national memory”. She hailed the project as “an example of the tangible results achieved through a collaboration between institutions and private donors with a love of cultural heritage at heart.”

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