State Archives: monumental gateway


The State Archives, founded in 1815 to bring together the official papers produced in the Serenissima’s 1000-year history, occupy much of what previously formed the Franciscan monastery of the Frari. Between the Cloister of the Florentines and the much larger Cloister of the Trinity there is an Istrian stone gateway with what appears to be the side of a sarcophagus between the architrave and the pediment.
 
The carved marble panel features two angels supporting an enthroned Christ with one hand raised in blessing and the other holding an open book; it probably came from one of several XIII-XV century sarcophagi belonging to prominent Venetian families that were removed from the wall of the Cloister of the Trinity following a serious collapse in 1779.
 
Both sides of the stone gate frame, the marble panel and the iron gate itself were all in need of urgent attention including cleaning, consolidation, replacement of old iron cramps and reconditioning of the gate.
 
Work was completed in 2013. The restorer carrying out the work was Andrea Libralesso, who specializes in stone and paint surfaces and has been engaged on several other ViP projects, including the restoration of paintings by Sebastiano Ricci in the Church of the Carmini and of external frescoes of Torcello cathedral.
 
The project designer and director was Grazia Fumo of the Superintendency of the Architectural Heritage. She too has often worked with ViP; her investigations of the problems afflicting the Canova cenotaph in the Church of the Frari have recently led to full-scale plans for the restoration work required.
 
The project was financed by the Fondation Jean-Barthélemy whose long-standing support for the Venice in Peril Fund has led to the completion of many important and interesting projects, the most recent of which include the protiro of the Church of the Carmini, and a XVI century wooden crucifix from the Church of San Fantin.

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