Florence’s Museo dell’Opera del Duomo to reopen following renovations

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The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, a historic museum situated behind Florence’s landmark Duomo, has announced that it will reopen its doors on October 29, following a series of extensive renovation works.

The entire layout of the museum has been revamped, with the acquirement of an adjacent theatre meaning that it has effectively doubled in display space. The Opera del Duomo, which translates to the ‘cathedral workshop’, was first founded by the Republic of Florence in 1296 to oversee the construction of the cathedral. Upon the completion of the cathedral in 1436, the Opera del Duomo’s main purpose has been to conserve the monuments and artefacts of the cathedral, and in 1891 began to house the many works of art which had been removed from the Duomo and the baptistery.

One of the main attractions of the museum is its collection of artefacts from various phases of building the Duomo over the centuries, including original sculptures, liturgical items and architectural details. Visitors can also see a reconstruction of the Piazza from the time of Dante, including the cathedral’s original façade, as well as another exhibit featuring original statues from the Campanile, or bell tower.

Another part of the museum also displays many of the Gothic sculptures used inside the cathedral and on its first façade, while these is also a section dedicated to the construction of Brunelleschi’s dome, including pulleys, buckets and brick molds.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see artworks and sculptures by some of the Renaissance period’s most revered artists, including Michelangelo’s Pieta (circa 1550), as well as two choir lofts which once stood in the Duomo; one by Luca della Robbia and the other by Donatello, each crafted in their own signature style.

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Image: Joanbanjo, available under Creative Commons