High Altar Ciborium- of the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

April 2018


Friends of Florence is working on the restoration of elements of a church in Florence: San Miniato. Various Board members from Friends of Florence have elected to fund a restoration of an element.

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte is situated on one of Florence’s highest hills, and has been described as the finest Romanesque structure in Tuscany, and one of the most beautiful churches in Italy. The Basilica was founded in 1018 and will celebrate its 1000th anniversary in 2018. Coinciding with Friends of Florence’s 20th anniversary,  work has begun to commence restoration of various elements from the Basilica’s interior, some of which are shown below.

The following Press Release is featured in The Florentine:

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.

The article featured in the PDF was published on ArtDaily


San Miniato Basilica celebrates 1,000th anniversary with restoration of 15th century chapel

The restoration of the ciborium was made possible thanks to Friends of Florence Foundation with gifts by major the following donors:

Ciborium by Michelozzo and Luca Della Robbia, bronze Eagles from Arte di Calimala by Maso di Bartolomeo
Catharin Dalpino

Altar Piece by Agnolo Gaddi: Stories of the life of Christ with Saints Giovanni Gualberto and Miniato
Ellen and James Morton

St Giovanni Gualberto and St. Miniato
Nancy and Jeff Moreland

Washing of the Feet
Ann O’Brien

Last Supper and Arrest of Christ
Alison and Bonifacio Zaino

Scourging and Mistreatment of Christ
Peter Fogliano and Hal Lester Foundation

Lauren and Phil Hughes
Rob and Anne Krebs In honour of Col. Zane V. Kortum
Terri and Rollie Sturm

Ascension and emblem of the Arte di Calimala
Terry and Rollie Sturm

Predella with Saints
Ellie and Edgar Cullman Jr.

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