In the Name of Michelangelo

Now through November 2018!
Join us on this amazing journey


Thanks to 127 donors from around the world,
we reached our goal of €100,000!

The first part of the project - the restoration of Michelangelo’s tomb – is done!
The restoration of the Buonarroti Family Altarpiece is underway now
and is scheduled to be completed by the end of November, 2018.

But don’t worry, you can still get involved!
Your donation will go towards a book documenting the restoration
and all the amazing discoveries made along the way!
Estimated date of publication is set for Spring 2019!

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 "In the Name of Michelangelo" project, is underway now! The visitors to the church can see the work in progress executed by the restorer, Tessa Castellano.
The restoration is scheduled to be completed by the end of October, 2018.

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)
  • Brunelleschi Circle €6.100 ($7,500)
  • 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. "

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! "


$10,000 and Above

Joan Cremin and Haig Tchamitch, USA
Morgan Stanley UK Limited, UK
Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, Italy
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

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

$1,000 to $4,999

Jim Chamberlain, USA
Pat and Jennifer DiCapo, Canada
Susan Gravely and Bill Ross, USA
International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, Italy
Marina Marrelli, USA
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
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 and David L. Kest, USA
Norbert Kienesberger, Austria
Coco Kim, USA
James and Sharon Madura, USA
Carrie Mugridge, USA
Carol Ruth and Mark Nelson, USA
Sean and Kellin Nelson, Italy
Andrea Nocchetti, 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
Jan and Veronika “Vosmik”, Czech Republic
Claudyne Wilder, USA
Jane Zaloga, Italy

$10 to $99

Thomas Anderson, USA
Bette D. Andrews, Canada
William Bergenthal, Italy
James Blakely Rule, USA
Elizabeth Brister and Donald Boman Jr., USA
Jennifer Cowden, Italy
Maureen Croce-Binder, USA
Sara Martin Crispin, Spain
Glenna Czachor, USA
Peter Davis, USA
Betty Edwards, USA
Antti Eilola, Finland
Valorie Guanella Erion, USA
Betsy Fenik, USA
Hannah Fritshner, USA
Jessica Giordano, USA
Laura Goldstein, 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
Tino Mehner, Germany
Maria Mendonca, USA
David Merrick, USA
Maren Michel, USA
Patricia Milliron, USA
Brian Morris, USA
Stewart Nacht, 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
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, Germany
Giuseppe Tudisco, Italy
Josephine Vaccaro, USA
Lindsey Wainwright, USA
Michael Wiekrykas, Czech Republic
Kathleen Zanotti, 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