The building housing the Bargello Museum has been fully restored after 15 months of continuous work. For the first time since the museum was founded in 1865, the Bargello undergone a meticulous overhaul of the entire monument and all its decorations.
Although the palazzo has undergone several interventions in the past (after the fire in 1332 and the flood of 1333, for example), never before had a campaign of this magnitude been carried out. The recent restoration saw over 12,000 square metres of pietra forte and pietra serena cleaned and consolidated, 128 coats of arms and 124 windows restored, as well as the 93 merlons and 199 stone corbels.
Costing a total of 1,800,000 euro, the restoration was financed by the Italian ministry of culture, while the contract was handled by Invitalia. Directed by the architect Giancarlo Lombardi, under the supervision of the architect Maria Cristina Valenti, head of the technical office of the Bargello Museums, the work involved a team of 24 restorers and specialized workers, who took turns during the course of the project.
The team completed this restoration in record time, despite the prolonged closure of the museum due to the pandemic, putting up the scaffolding at the end of July 2020 and dismantling the last pipes in October 2021.
“The Bargello is beautiful once again thanks to a painstaking restoration carried out in record time,” says Mayor Dario Nardella. “This is an important moment for the city and for our entire cultural heritage. Despite the pandemic, the world of culture has not stopped and has even taken advantage of the forced stop to invest and plan for the future.”
The construction of the palazzo began in 1255, initially built as the seat of the Podestà, the highest civil office in the government of Florence, whose coats of arms still adorn the courtyard to this day. It was also the place where Dante was sentenced to death in 1302 and then to exile. With the royal decree of June 22, 1865, the palazzo became the first Italian national museum dedicated to the arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.