Thursday 22 October 2015

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence re-opens on 29 October 2015 after extensive renovations

Great news for art enthusiasts! One of the most interesting art museums in Italy, the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence, re-opens on 29 October 2015 after extensive renovations. Opera del Duomo in this case means works of art from the cathedral, and the museum is located very near the Duomo, in the same building in which Michelangelo carved his famous marble "David". Many important art works have been moved over the years from the interior of the Duomo, from its facade, from Giotto's campanile and from the Baptistry to keep them safe from the elements, pigeons and humans. The majority of the larger works are sculptures and the smaller works are beautiful liturgical objects. Many of these art works have been restored during the work on the museum, and are very creatively displayed within. My favorite among them are the original and restored "Gates of Paradise" doors from the Bapistry, the result of 27 years of work by Ghiberti.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence
Detail from a panel of Ghiberti's "Doors of Paradise"
There are around 750 works of art in the museum and, of those, some 200 are being displayed after being restored. Among the works on display are sculptures by Michelangelo, Donatello and Arnolfo di Cambio. There are also large scale reconstructions that provide a glimpse into the history of the Duomo, including the facade before it received its current decorations towards the end of the 19th century.

Pietà dell'Opera del Duomo, Michelangelo, Firenze, Italy
Michelangelo's mysterious Pietà

Note that you can obtain a wonderful view of the dome of the cathedral from a small room at the top of the museum and from the outdoor terrace on the third floor.

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