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Staring at the Gates of Paradise

Ghiberti's Gates of ParadiseAfter 27 years restoration, the Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise (1425-1452) are now on display to the public in all of their gilded and impressive beauty.It’s been a long wait, for the city of Florence and for the whole world, but it was truly worth it! The passage of time, air pollution and lastly, the great flood of 1966, had heavily deteriorated and seriously damaged the north doors of the Florence Baptistery; so seriously that they were removed (putting a copy in place) and the precious panels composing the doors were restored. Almost 30 years of new techniques and the manual and technological experience of the restorers of the Opificio delle Pietro Dure… this is what it took to return the original gilding of the Gates of Paradise to its former luster and give us today the privilege to admire this unique work of art and appreciate all of its precious details: 10 square panels, each of them containing episodes of the Old Testament, which show Ghiberti’s artistic skills, such as linear perspective and a new and articulate narrative mode, the “istoria”, with different chapters of a single episode all on a same panel. Gates of Paradise in FlorenceStarting September 8th 2012,  the doors are on view in a huge protective glass showcase, specifically designed to maintain condition of low and constant humidity, in the courtyard of the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (one of the most important, interesting and well-organized museums of Florence), waiting for its final and definitive location, in the main room of the new Santa Maria del Fiore Museum, which is now under construction. As it is almost impossible to describe the feeling of standing in front of this 5.20 meter-tall, 3 meters-wide and 11cm-thick masterpiece, you need to go there and, as Ghiberti himself wrote on the doors, MIRA ARTE FABRICATUM … something like: admire my talent! INFO Museo dell’Opera del Duomo Tickets: 6 € Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am – 9.30pm, Sunday 9am – 1.45pm