Saint Mark’s Angels are flying again

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After a long and painstaking restoration the mosaic of the St. Mark Basilica, in Venice, has returned to the original splendour. Placed inside the Dome of the Creation, the mosaic was designed by Venetian craftsmen in the early decades of 1200 and shows strong influences of the Byzantine style: 26 scenes arranged in three bands, which represent the foundation of the world, the creation of the first man, the original sin and the expulsion from Eden, as told in Genesis. 

The Dome of Creation is back to life thanks to the donations – over 300 thousand euro – of members and friends of the Venice Foundation, a non-profit organisation that is part of the UNESCO Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice. 

The mosaic – about six meters in diameter with a total area of ??about sixty square meters – showed extensive damage mainly due to the atmosphere full of salt caused by the frequent flooding that had undermined the stability of the mortars, with the consequent detachment of a lot of tesserae, rendering the entire mosaic patchy. 

The restoration result is breathtaking: the dome of St. Mark’s Genesis shines again with gold, vivid green, pearl white and the brightness of the red which Venetian mosaic masters had learned to use by Byzantine craftsmen who worked in Venice in the twelfth century. This amazing result is to credit to the intervention, patient and meticulous, made by the workers of the Procuratoria of San Marco – the agency responsible for the basilica protection, maintenance and restoration. 

The re-opening to the public of this masterpiece has been celebrated last Saturday with a concert of cellist Mario Brunello and the Italian String Orchestra. 

Source: Italy Mag [February 01, 2012]

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