Restoration of ciborium in San Miniato complete

Work on the piece inside the millennium-old abbey has finished

Harry Cochrane
April 27, 2018 - 15:47

This year, the Abbey of San Miniato celebrates a thousand years since its foundation, and it does so with a newly restored ciborium.


The project was funded by the Friends of Florence, whose President, Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda, thanked the donors, restorers, and Prior of the Abbey Padre Bernardo Gianni for making the project possible. She described San Miniato as a place 'of peace, teaching and reflection' and 'a symbol for all the citizens of the world'.


Attention was spared on no aspect of the ciborium, which was built at the behest of Piero de' Medici and to the designs of Michelozzo di Bartolomeo. Completed in 1448, its purpose was to house the miraculous crucifix of Saint John Gualbert, which was moved to another church in Florence in 1671. Collaborating with Michelozzo were Luca della Robbia and Maso di Bartolomeo, whose two bronze eagles once more stand proudly on top of the little shrine.


Detail of The Ascension 


The restoration was carried out by a large and specialised team, including the companies FaberRestauro and Habilis. They worked on everything from the marble marquetry to the panels depicting the Passion of Christ, painted by Agnolo Gaddi between 1394 and 1396, which have been returned to their original order for the sake of a more coherent cycle.


Padre Bernardo offered his 'heartfelt thanks' to the Friends of Florence, and said that the abbey is to mark its 1,000th year with a programme of over fifty events.

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