In the Name of Michelangelo

September 2017 - November 2018

The Opera di Santa Croce is grateful to the 132 donors from 14 different countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Philippines, Finland, Germany, Italy Norway, Peru, Czech Republic, Spain, UK, USA) who generously contributed €121.000,00 to this important project.

Thanks to them, the burial place of the great Michelangelo and other members of Buonarroti family in the church of Santa Croce, has been brought to it's former glory.

We are grateful to the talented art restoration professionals who worked for more than a year on this project.

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.

The project

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.

Michelangelo’s tomb and altarpiece
Historical note

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.


The restoration

The first part of our "In the Name of Michelangelo" project - the restoration of Michelangelo tomb - has been completed. Restorer Paola Rosa has worked diligently to remove all the layers of dust and grime, revealing perfectly shiny marble surfaces, as seen in before and after photos below.

We have spent the last weekend of March 2018 following the footsteps of Michelangelo with donors who came from far and wide to celebrate with us! Come along on the virtual journey and scroll through the album of the most memorable moments!

The restoration of the Buonarroti Family Altarpiece, the second part of our "In the Name of Michelangelo" project, is complete! Visitors to the church can see the Vasari painting in all its glory, executed by the art restorer, Tessa Castellano. The altarpiece restoration was unveiled to the public on November 24, 2018.

Circle Level Donor Highlights

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. "

Irene Denipoti

CEO Irene D Srls, Italy
"To have the privilege of participating in the restoration of Michelangelo's tomb and the Altar of the Buonarroti family is a dream come true. My love for art brought me to this project and I am proud to take part in it. Michelangelo's genius is all around us and makes everything special, the past has made us what we are today! Supporting Santa Croce Opera makes my today unique, and this is only the beginning! "

€8.500 e oltre Da €4.000 a €8.499 Da €800 a €3.999
Joan Cremin e Haig Tchamitch, USA
Morgan Stanley UK Limited, UK
Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, Italy
Robert e Corinne Rooney, USA
Samuel H. Kress Foundation, USA
David e Mary Schulte, USA
Domenico e Cristina Siniscalco, Italy

Irene Denipoti, Italy
Jim e Erin Essert, USA
Meryl and Jeanne Haber Charitable Fund, USA
Thomas Colm Kelleher, USA
Donna Malin, USA
Eugene McBurney Family Foundation, Canada
Salvatore e Agustina Orlacchio, UK
Grant Woods, USA

Jim Chamberlain, USA
Pat e Jennifer DiCapo, Canada
Susan Gravely e Bill Ross, USA
International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, Italy
Marina Marrelli, USA
Jerry Wise, USA

Da €400 a €799
Kelli Berezin, USA
Andrew Galloway, UK
Barbara Gori, Italy

Kate Graham, USA
Tony and Anne Gully, USA
Martin Kober, USA
Diana Richman, USA
Richard Surface, UK
Da €85 a €399
Michele Bilodeau, USA
Kirby Chown, Canada
Charles e Monica Cochrane, USA
Sally Cornelison, USA
John e Carol Cowden, USA
Rosemary Espanol, USA
John e Anne Farrell, USA
Janet Feyler, USA
Angela W. Fowler, USA
Alessandra Gaito, Italy
David Geatty, USA
Marlene Gilmore Glasser, USA
Colleen Heyer, USA

Stephanie Honrado, Philippines
Joelle Inman, USA
Barbara Jaffe, USA
Charles and Nadine Kahi, USA
Barbara Kaye, USA
Sandy Chamberlain e David L. Kest, USA
Norbert Kienesberger, Austria
Coco Kim, USA
James e Sharon Madura, USA
Carrie Mugridge, USA
Carol Ruth e Mark Nelson, USA
Sean e Kellin Nelson, Italy
Andrea Nocchetti, Italy
Doralynn Pines, USA
Bruce e Donna Polichar, USA
Clara Potes-Fellow, USA
Gary e Nancy Radke, USA
Elaine Ruffolo, Italy
Carolyn Rutigliano, USA
Jamie e Susan Tolmer, USA
Nancy Vaughan, USA
Jan e Veronika “Vosmik”, Czech Republic
Claudyne Wilder, USA
Jane Zaloga, Italy
Da €10 a €84
Thomas Anderson, USA
Bette D. Andrews, Canada
William Bergenthal, Italy
James Blakely Rule, USA
Elizabeth Brister e Donald Boman Jr., USA
Jennifer Cowden, Italy
Maureen Croce-Binder, USA
Sara Martin Crispin, Spain
Glenna Czachor, USA
Peter Davis, USA
Antti Eilola, Finland
Valorie Guanella Erion, USA
Betsy Fenik, USA
Hannah Fritshner, USA
Jessica Giordano, USA
Laura Goldstein, USA
Betty Edwards, USA
Teresa Esteban Gomez, Spain
Rosemary Hill, USA
Elizabeth Hove, USA
Nigel Ip, UK
Sarah Ipnice, Peru

Thore Johansen, Norway
Robert Kenis, USA
Pamela Klodzinski, USA
Jane Lamke, USA
Sharon Lawrence, USA
Shirley Leong, Canada
Roberto Lucchetta, Italy
Molly Mcllwrath, Italy
Maria Mendonca, USA
Tino Mehner, Germany
David Merrick, USA
Maren Michel, USA
Patricia Milliron, USA
Brian Morris, USA
Stewart Nacht, USA
Philipp Neuman, Germania
Joanne Ochej, Canada
Carole Osman, USA
Mary Padgett, USA
Hitesh Patel, UK
Heather Peterson, USA
Grace Polichar, USA
Anne Proctor, USA
Huakun Qian e Xinxin Wang, China
Saralee Riggs, USA
Terese Sarno, USA
Karen Serles, Canada
Dalouge Smith, USA
George Smith, UK
Angela Sopranzi, USA
Heather Spiva, USA
Eugene Stucky, USA
Steffi Sunkel, Germany
Gail Tait, Australia
Allie Terry-Fritsch, USA
Katherine Thichava, USA
Kati Thielitz, Germania
Giuseppe Tudisco, Italy
Josephine Vaccaro, USA
Lindsey Wainwright, USA
Michael Wiekrykas, Czech Republic
Kathleen Zanotti, USA
Aleksandar Živanović, USA

Gifts in kind:

Peter Becker / Monica Bietti / Simonetta Brandolini D'Adda / Sandy Chamberlain / Caterina Chimenti / Sally Cornelison / Jennifer Cowden / Anne Farrell / The Florentine News Magazine / Dario Garofalo / Carol Glatz / Mary Gray / Guild of the Dome / Anthony Lacy Gully / Instagramers Firenze / Georgette Jupe / Rab Hatfield / Elizabeth Lev / Clara Marinelli / Kathy McCabe / Elisabetta Nardinocchi / Kellin Nelson / Philipp Neuman / Nardia Plumridge / Pina Ragionieri / Kathryn Rakich / Elaine Ruffolo / Betty Soldi / Villa Medicea di Lilliano / Jose Villarreal / Benjamin Wohlauer

Book of Donors

The original book is now located in perpetuity in Santa Croce’s archives. Click here to see the digital edition.

The Press Highlights