Back in October of last year, visitors to the Duomo in Barga were confronted by an interesting new sight as the large doors to Duomo were covered by semi translucent nylon sheeting held firmly in place completely hiding the wooden doors but also making the carved centre pieces strangely more prominent and visible and transforming the doors into a kind of shimmering installation artwork very reminiscent of the wrapping works by Christo.
The art critic David Bourdon once described the wrapping works by Christo as a “revelation through concealment” although Christo himself stating that the “wrapping” was not the common denominator of the works. According to him what was really the common denominator was the use of fabric, cloth or textile – fragile, sensual and temporary materials which translated the temporary character of the works of art.
Either way it was an interesting visual game being played out as the sun cast shadows across the stretched nylon.
As Don Stefano Serafini then pointed out (article here), what was actually happening was that renovation work had started on the doors of the Duomo.
The wood had been treated with chemicals to fight against woodworm and so remained enclosed in plastic for the next couple of weeks. After that work began on repairing some of the damage which time and the elements have wreaked on the lower levels of the doors.
They were last worked on in 2002 when a grey coat of paint was added. Renovation experts, Enrico Modena and Guido Menichetti then stripped way that paint in places and revealed that underneath there was what looked like gilding on some of the central roses on the doors.
As we the reported in that article, there were hopes that once the doors were finished, hopefully by Christmas, they would come back to their original splendour.
As it happened that completion by Christmas date did not actually happen or in fact the following Easter but finally this week the doors were completed by the restoration firm.