Seven hundred and twenty years ago, on May 3rd 1294, the first stone of the church of Santa Croce was placed in the presence of the Gonfaloniere, the Podestà and all the representatives of the Commune of Florence.
Honoring this special date in 2014, a new itinerary of the Basilica will be inaugurated to the public.
It is a result of a complex and innovative initiative of the Opera di Santa Croce, whose mission is to preserve and protect the important artistic heritage of the church and its monumental complex.
The biggest threat for this patrimony has been the numerous floods of the Arno, an unavoidable problem, given the fact that the church was built on the lowest level of the city and in close proximity to the Arno.
The initiative has been to move 15 masterpieces from the Museum of the Opera di Santa Croce to a new location in the church itself, thus raising the artworks to a location about 3 meters higher than the museum, which By Paola Vojnovic Art historian at Opera di Santa Croce was their home for the last century.
The new location encompassing the Corridor of the Novices, the Medici Chapel and the Sacristy does not only give a new life to this area of the church, but also sheds new light on the artworks, now placed closer to their original intended location.
Symbolically, the first masterpiece to be moved, in November 2013, was the Crucifix of Cimabue, which became internationally known symbol of the flood of 1966.
Stefania Fuscagni, President of Opera di Santa Croce, reflects “the new location of the Crucifix not only responds to an aspect of safety measures, which was certainly the reason for its move, but we have achieved another equally important objective.
Now the museum aspect can naturally be combined with the spiritual, and allow a reflection on the roots of the Western culture”.
Check out www.santacroceopera.it for the details of the special 720th anniversary.