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Ghiberti's Gate of Paradise restored

'Extraordinary' 27-year work says culture minister

07 June, 18:43
Ghiberti's Gate of Paradise restored

(ANSA) - Florence, June 7 - One of the glories of early Renaissance Italian art, Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gate of Paradise for the Florence Baptistery, has completed a 27-year restoration, Culture Minister Lorenzo Ornaghi said Thursday.

The Gate, whose famed gilding has been burnished with painstaking care and cutting-edge techniques, will be put on show at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo from September 8, Ornaghi said.

Ornaghi paid tribute to the "extraordinary" work the restorers did.

Ghiberti, having established his reputation with his work on the northern gate of the Florence Baptistery in the early 15th century, was commissioned to design the eastern door in 1425.

It took him 27 years to complete the 20-foot-high masterpieces, 10 panels showing episodes from the Old Testament.

An admiring Michelangelo later said the door was worthy of adorning the entrance to heaven.

The original doors have been kept in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo since 1990, while copies have stood in their place on the Baptistery, which will remain the case despite the restoration.

The restoration was carried out by Florence's Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the world's leading laboratory for the restoration of Renaissance sculpture.

photo: panel illustrating story of Noah