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Restored Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at Santo Spirito basilica in Florence


A wooden crucifix sculpted by Michelangelo at 18 has been restored to pride of place in Florence's Santo Spirito, the church the Renaissance master had created it for.

Restored Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at Santo Spirito basilica in Florence
View of a wooden crucifix sculpted by Italian artist Michelangelo at the Santo Spirito basilica in Florence 
[Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP]
After the death of his first benefactor Lorenzo de Medici in 1492, Michelangelo lived for a year with a community of Augustine monks associated with the famous basilica, studying anatomy in the hospital they ran.

Restored Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at Santo Spirito basilica in Florence
Michelangelo crucifix hangs in new location in the basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence 
[Credit: Niccolo Cambi/Massimo Sestini]
As a thank you for their welcome, he left them a 1.40 metre (four and a half foot) sculpture of a nude Jesus Christ on the cross.

Restored Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at Santo Spirito basilica in Florence
Detail of crucifix hanging in Santo Spirito in Florence 
[Credit: Niccolo Cambi/Massimo Sestini]
The masterpiece was thought lost for decades before it was found in the 1960s, in a convent corridor and so badly overpainted it was barely recognisable.

Restored Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at Santo Spirito basilica in Florence
Side view of crucifix hanging at Santo Spirito in Florence
[Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP]
Now restored, it recently went on tour in Italy before returning Tuesday to take up a new setting in Santo Spirito: suspended above the church's old sacristry in a way that allows visitors to inspect it from all angles.

Restored Michelangelo crucifix gets pride of place at Santo Spirito basilica in Florence
Restored Michelangelo crucifix hanging at Santo Spirito in Florence 
[Credit: Maurizio Degl'Innocenti, ANSA]
"The Santo Spirito district, with its extraordinary basilica, is a place that needs protecting and to be brought to life," said Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda, president of the Friends of Florence group which helped organise the new installation for "this serene, sublime Christ."

Source: AFP [April 06, 2017]
TANN

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