The first time I saw the doors, the creation scene was missing because, along with four other panels, it had been wrenched from its mounting by the floodwaters.
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Fortunately, the detached panels were caught between the door and a guard rail, installed only a few years earlier to discourage touching. In , however, the originals were replaced with replicas to prevent further environmental damage. While it will never be possible to see the doors again as people saw them years ago, I can attest to the enduring power of the Gates of Paradise — however they are displayed. In , the Duomo museum allowed three restored panels to travel for the first and last time.
As he gazed upon the creation scene, the dullness vanished from his eyes and was replaced by an attentiveness approaching adoration. I will always recall those words, pulled from a mind struggling against darkness, as the ultimate tribute to the power of art.
And in the Detroit Institute of Arts , the old masters are also waiting, for poor and rich alike. Anyone can enter the gates of paradise, wherever they may be — as long as the public and its governments are willing to pay to keep them open. An opinion article last Sunday about the value of great art incorrectly described the source of funding for the restoration of the Gates of Paradise.
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The restoration was funded by the Italian government and private organizations, including the Friends of Florence. It was not largely financed by donations to the Guild of the Dome. Italian conservators dismantled the doors to clean and conserve them eventually replacing them with replicas.
This decades-long project is nearing completion. To prevent future corrosion once the doors are reassembled, they will be placed in a sealed case filled with inert gas and displayed in the Duomo Museum.
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A February interdisciplinary gathering of art historians, conservators, and scientists convened by the Andrew W. Known since the third millennium B. The entire assembly—wax embedded in clay—is heated to dry the mold and drive out the wax.
Molten metal is poured into the hollow left behind. Once the metal has cooled and hardened, the mold is broken away to free the bronze inside. Such a mold is designed like a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle, Bewer explains.
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Each interlocking piece can be removed without damaging the model, and reassembled any number of times to produce replicas for casting by pressing, pouring, or painting wax into the hollow mold. Bewer and her colleagues point to a range of evidence, both contextual and technical, to support their direct-casting thesis. The channels fill with bronze during the pour and are later cut off the cast sculpture. Many traces of these channels scar the back of the panels.