The results of the year-long restoration campaign recently completed in the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte in Florence have been presented to the public. The work was funded by a donation from the Friends of Florence, a US non-profit organization that has been helping to preserve Florentine and Tuscan heritage since 1998 thanks to donors from all over the world. The parts of the abbey restored on this occasion were the apse, with its marble decor and mosaic, the altar and glazed terracotta crucifix, the pulpit and rood screen, and the reliquary bust of San Miniato.
“The sense of wonder triggered in us by our contemplation of the beauty of the Byzantine mosaic and the other marble decorations, which give us a foretaste on earth of the splendour awaiting us in the Heavenly Jerusalem is on a par with our difficulty in finding the right words to express the joy, gratitude and admiration of the entire monastic community here in San Miniato al Monte for the outpouring of love, skill, dedication and, most importantly, the selfless generosity that have enabled experts to complete this restoration with unflagging devotion under the watchful and sympathetic eye of the Florentine Sovrintendenza, and in particular of Dr. Maria Maugeri, breathing new life into this crucial manifestation of the history of art and architecture in Tuscany and restoring it to its original brilliance,” said Fr. Bernardo Gianni, Abbot of San Miniato al Monte. “I would like to voice, and to record for posterity, my very special thanks to the Friends of Florence for their outstanding and untiring commitment to preserving the ancient heritage of San Miniato al Monte and, in particular, to the truly exceptional generosity of the Simon family for enabling Florence and the whole world to admire and to enjoy this newly rediscovered wonder.”
“The Friends of Florence have always had a special place in their hearts for San Miniato, having supported the restoration of Michelozzo’s Tabernacle and the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal only a few years ago,” said Friends of Florence president, Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda. “This new campaign enables us to appreciate in depth and to personally experience the beauty that the abbey instantly communicates to all those who come to here to pray, discover and admire. The campaign has allowed us to restore to the international community a heritage of inestimable value consisting of details that have finally returned to light, to enrich a narrative that can be recounted for many years to come. On behalf of our Foundation, I would like to thank Dr. Maria Maugeri with the Soprintendenza ABAP of Florence who oversaw the campaign, the Abbot, Fr. Bernardo Gianni, and the monastic community of San Miniato al Monte for hosting the restoration, and the team of restorers who have worked on the campaign to ensure that all of us, including future generations, are able to continue enjoying and admiring these masterpieces in the future. And last but not least, my very special thanks to Stacy Simon, who chose to support this restoration campaign in memory of her husband, Bruce. It is thanks to her donation that we have been able to fund the restoration campaign in its entirety.”