The restoration of the Florence Baptistery – the monument dedicated to St. John the Baptist located right in front of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Piazza San Giovanni – was completed on 25 October 2015. The restoration involved also the gilding of the Baptistery, in particular of the golden sphere on top of the dome.
The octagonal monument is covered by an 8-segment dome and has a flat pyramidal roof.
The restoration and gilding of the Baptistery were part of the interventions carried out by the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore in view of the 5th National Congress of the Italian Church, which was held in Florence in November 2015.
The restoration involved the entire marble covering of the eight external façades, roof pitches, and Baptistery lantern. This conservation project aimed at eliminating scaling, pollutant deposits and redefining the marble elements, which were considerably degraded.
The complexity of the restoration required the construction of scaffoldings. Everything was subject to iconographic, historical, and diagnostic studies carried out by the University of Florence and the National Research Council.
Giusto Manetti Battiloro has donated 30 booklets made of 24 k yellow gold leaf to the Opera Laurenziana. This donation was used to finance the gilding of the Baptistery, in particular of the lantern and cross [both extremely challenging]. Moreover, the structure needed consolidation works, as it had become unstable over the years.
The Baptistery has now returned to its original splendour and is ready to be one of Florence’s main tourist attractions again.