In the Name of Michelangelo

With great thanks to 98 donors from 11 different countries
who donated to our campaign (September 7 to October 30, 2017),
we are very close to reaching our €100,000 goal!

You too can help restore Michelangelo’s tomb
and the Buonarroti family altarpiece in Santa Croce

When Michelangelo died in Rome at the venerable age of 88, the first priority of the Buonarroti and Medici families in Florence was to bring his body back in order to honor one of the greatest artists of all time. To this day, his magnificent sculpted and painted tomb in Santa Croce is a destination for art lovers from around the world seeking knowledge and some contact with the master.

Now this monument requires restoration
and we’re asking for your help.

The Church
The Church of Santa Croce in Florence is an encyclopedia of Italian art from the 13th to 19th century. It is known as the Pantheon of Italian greats due to its being the memorial or burial place of artists, scientists and thinkers like Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli and Michelangelo. About one million visitors each year come to the church to admire its artistic masterpieces – works that require restoration and constant monitoring.
Opera di Santa Croce
Opera di Santa Croce, the non-profit body that has been in charge of the church and monumental complex’s upkeep since the 14th century, does not receive any State funding and relies on donations by private individuals, foundations, or corporations for restorations that ensure that this heritage will be passed on to future generations. That is why OSC asks for your participation in this campaign to restore the tomb of Michelangelo and the altarpiece of his family.

Michelangelo’s tomb and altarpiece

The Tomb

The impressive tomb of Michelangelo is a multi-media project that extends to the family altar next to it. After the artist’s death in 1564, Duke Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned Giorgio Vasari to coordinate and create the memorial, which was finished in 1578. Alongside the artist, 66 members of the Buonarroti family are buried here. The tomb itself is an elaborate combination of marble sculpture and fresco painting, with a bust of Michelangelo and three figures representing the arts in which Michelangelo excelled: painting, sculpture and architecture.

The Altarpiece

Vasari’s altarpiece represents Christ Meeting Veronica on the Way to Calvary, in which there is a newly-discovered portrait of Michelangelo who pointingly looks towards his own tomb, affirming that the altar and tomb are meant to be read together. This image of Michelangelo, and indeed most of the figures in this painting, is hidden beneath centuries of grime and yellowed varnish that obscure Vasari’s once-colorful, drama-filled painting. The work’s surface was further damaged in the devastating 1966 Florence Flood, leaving cracks and bubbling in the paint. Now its structure is at risk due to an invasion of termites in the wooden support. This restoration has been long called for and has become urgent.


The restoration

OSC will call upon expert restorers to start cleaning and consolidation as early as November 1, 2017. A clean altarpiece will give this work a renewed legibility that will allow it to be studied as well as admired by all. But first, funding for this task must be secured.

In addition to the painting, which has received too little attention over the years, the famous marble tomb also requires attention. The last time it was cleaned was over 20 years ago. At this time, it requires preventative cleaning and diagnostics intended to delay the need for more extensive interventions in the future. We require €100,000 ($119,000) to carry out this restoration. The hope is to collect these funds by October 30, 2017. Work is to start immediately and should be finished by March, 2018, in time for the anniversary of Michelangelo’s birth.

How you can support this project

Donations of any amount are welcome

All contributors will receive the following benefits:

  • Permanent inscription in our Book of Donors, kept in the centuries-old Santa Croce Archives
  • Acknowledgement on our Website
  • Receive "Santa Croce Views" newsletter

Circle Level Donors

Circle-level donations are named after extraordinary individuals who constitute the legacy of the Santa Croce Monumental Complex.

  • Vasari Circle €4,400 ($5,000)
  • Giotto Circle €8,800 ($10,000)
  • Michelangelo Circle €18,000 ($20,000)

Circle level donors will:

  • Have their name inscribed on a sign in front of the tomb of Michelangelo (for a duration of 2 years)
  • Receive the invitation to a special event “In the Name of Michelangelo”, to be held in March 2018
  • Be eligible for a behind the scenes tour of Santa Croce Monumental Complex anytime they visit Florence
  • Be acknowledged in and receive a copy of the publication after the restoration

In addition to above listed benefits Giotto and Michelangelo Circle donors will:

  • Have their name prominently displayed on a Donor Wall at Santa Croce
  • Receive a special edition Michelangelo medal, made in bronze

Michelangelo Circle donors, all the above, plus:

  • Private dinner in Florence, with the Director and the Board members of Opera di Santa Croce
  • Invitation to visit an active restoration site in Santa Croce and meet the conservators
  • Invitations to the future special events in Santa Croce


They have already gotten involved

Domenico and Cristina Siniscalco

“One can spend hours in Santa Croce, pondering a great past of artists, writers, philosophers, politicians and bankers. We are happy to be able to make a small contribution to Santa Croce for the restoration of the tomb of the Buonarrotis, in the name of Michelangelo. If we have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Colm Kelleher

President, Morgan Stanley, New York, USA
"I am pleased to support the Opera di Santa Croce in their efforts to restore the tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti Family Altarpiece. Morgan Stanley is sponsoring a major exhibition of Michelangelo's work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2017, and the restoration of his family tomb is another way for us to celebrate the genius and innovative spirit of a man who continues to inspire us today. "

Dr. and Mrs. Meryl H. Haber

Scottsdale, Arizona USA
"Because we always loved Florence and always stayed on the Piazza Santa Croce during our visits to the city."


$10,000 and Above

Joan Cremin and Haig Tchamitch, USA
Morgan Stanley UK Limited, UK
Robert and Corinne Rooney, USA
Samuel H. Kress Foundation, USA
David and Mary Schulte, USA
Domenico and Cristina Siniscalco, Italy

$5,000 to $9,999

Jim and Erin Essert, USA
Meryl and Jeanne Haber Charitable Fund, USA
Thomas Colm Kelleher, USA
Donna Malin, USA
Eugene McBurney Family Foundation, Canada
Grant Woods, USA

$1,000 to $4,999

Jim Chamberlain, USA
Pat and Jennifer DiCapo, Canada
Jerry Wise, USA

$500 to $999

Andrew Galloway, UK
Barbara Gori, Italy
Kate Graham, USA
Tony and Anne Gully, USA
Martin Kober, USA
Diana Richman, USA
Richard Surface, UK

$100 to $499

Michele Bilodeau, USA
Kirby Chown, Canada
Charles and Monica Cochrane, USA
Sally Cornelison, USA
John and Carol Cowden, USA
Rosemary Espanol, USA
John and Anne Farrell, USA
Janet Feyler, USA
Angela W. Fowler, USA
Alessandra Gaito, Italy
Stephanie Honrado, Philippines
Charles and Nadine Kahi, USA
Barbara Kaye, USA
Sandy Chamberlain and David L. Kest, USA
James and Sharon Madura, USA
Carrie Mugridge, USA
Sean and Kellin Nelson, Italy
Doralynn Pines, USA
Bruce and Donna Polichar, USA
Clara Potes-Fellow, USA
Gary and Nancy Radke, USA
Elaine Ruffolo, Italy
Carolyn Rutigliano, USA
Jamie and Susan Tolmer, USA
Nancy Vaughan, USA
Claudyne Wilder, USA
Jane Zaloga, Italy

$10 to $99

Thomas Anderson, USA
William Bergenthal, Italy
James Blakely Rule, USA
Jennifer Cowden, Italy
Maureen Croce-Binder, USA
Glenna Czachor, USA
Antti Eilola, Finland
Valorie Guanella Erion, USA
Betsy Fenik, USA
Hannah Fritshner, USA
Laura Goldstein, USA
Teresa Esteban Gomez, Spain
Colleen Heyer, USA
Rosemary Hill, USA
Elizabeth Hove, USA
Nigel Ip, UK
Thore Johansen, Norway
Pamela Klodzinski, USA
Jane Lamke, USA
Shirley Leong, Canada
Roberto Lucchetta, Italy
Tino Mehner, Germany
Maria Mendonca, USA
David Merrick, USA
Maren Michel, USA
Patricia Milliron, USA
Brian Morris, USA
Carol Ruth Nelson, USA
Philipp Neuman, Germany
Joanne Ochej, Canada
Carole Osman, USA
Mary Padgett, USA
Hitesh Patel, UK
Heather Peterson, USA
Grace Polichar, USA
Anne Proctor, USA
Saralee Riggs, USA
Terese Sarno, USA
Karen Serles, Canada
Heather Spiva, USA
Eugene Stucky, USA
Gail Tait, Australia
Allie Terry-Fritsch, USA
Katherine Thichava, USA
Kati Thielitz, Germany
Giuseppe Tudisco, Italy
Josephine Vaccaro, USA
Lindsey Wainwright, USA
Michael Wiekrykas, Czeck Republic
Kathleen Zanotti, USA

Gifts in kind:

Peter Becker
Caterina Chimenti
Sally Cornelison
Jennifer Cowden
Carol Glatz
Anthony Lacy Gully
The Florentine News Magazine
Instagramers Firenze
Georgette Jupe
Guild of the Dome
Elizabeth Lev
Clara Marinelli
Kathy McCabe
Philipp Neuman
Nardia Plumridge
Elaine Ruffolo
Betty Soldi
Jose Villarreal