Posted on June 7, 2022
With the last donation registered this morning, the goal of the initiative was achieved “Together for Sant’Oronzo”, Promoted by the Municipality and the Archdiocese of Lecce. The quota of 200 thousand euros – estimated cost of the intervention – was achieved thanks to a fundraiser carried out with the instrument ofArt Bonus. The funds will be used to finance the construction of the copy of the statue of Sant’Oronzo to be placed on top of the Roman column in Piazza Sant’Oronzo in place of the original. However, the collection is still open and any new donations can be used to integrate and further improve the project. At this link the page of the Art bonus site relating to the initiative and the list of donors: https://artbonus.gov.it/2313-statua-di-s.-oronzo.html
The cost of the surgery is estimated at 200 thousand euros, including any increases in the price of raw materials after the acquisition of the estimate from the Nolana Del Giudice Foundry. It is a company of excellence in Italy in the manufacture of plastic arts and in the creation of sculptural works with materials such as bronze, aluminum, brass, white bronze, steel and resin, which will be entrusted with the task of making the copy. The Campania laboratory – also author of the creation of a 3D model of the statue of the Madonnina of the Milan Cathedral in 1: 1 scale, kept inside the Duomo Museum – was identified after the recognition of specialized companies carried out by the municipal administration with the scientific support of the director of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Salento, Raffaele Casciaro. The total sum required for the intervention includes, in addition to the execution, transport and positioning of the copy on the column, also the production of a video-documentary and a printed notebook-volume on the entire process of the project, from the studio preliminary to the implementation of the copy on the column, by Department of Cultural Heritage of UniSalento.
Sant’Oronzo statue, restoration of the original and making of the copy: the steps taken so far
As is known, after the analyzes and scientific opinions acquired during the last restoration works of the statue of the Patron Saint, which took place by removing the statue from its original location and bringing it back to the ground, the state of the internal wooden structure and the external copper cladding was compromised so much that its repositioning on the column was excluded because further prolonged exposure to atmospheric agents would have caused irreparable damage to the artwork. The Superintendency has therefore given a positive opinion on the creation of a copy and the museum display of the original, in a place that will be identified on the basis of the best conservation conditions, by mutual agreement between all the bodies involved (Municipality, Curia and Superintendency) . Immediately, the Municipality moved in two directions: first of allinvolved the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Salento, liaising with the director Casciaro, to understand together how to perform the 3D scan and, subsequently, in compliance with the prescriptions provided by the Superintendency, which were the most correct reproduction methods, the technique to use, the most suitable material to make the copy. An in-depth and articulated study that took time especially for the choice of material: by asking for several estimates from highly specialized institutes and national companies at the highest levels in the sector, the possibility of a reproduction with the latest generation technological materials was examined, but the dimensions of the copy of the statue (5.10 meters high) and its outdoor use led experts to advise against its use. At the end of this long and complex research, a full stop was made: the copy will be made in bronze with the lost wax casting technique, based on the design proposal presented by the Nolana Foundry. The Municipality will now develop the technical project for the realization of the copy, which will be submitted to the Superintendency for the necessary approval. We will then proceed with the assignment to the company that will make the copy through the bronze casting with the lost wax casting method.
“I want to thank all citizens, banks, businesses, agencies, trade associations who have voluntarily chosen to contribute to the collection – declares the mayor Carlo Salvemini – by those who have donated 5, 10, 50 euros to organizations that have donated important sums, essential to achieve the goal in such a short time. We have deliberately chosen, with our Archbishop Michele Seccia, to entrust to devotion, to the sense of belonging, to the free will of the individual, this initiative, which traces the echoes of the first construction – centuries ago – of the statue, which is also told , supported by the people of Lecce. Soon the appearance of our square will return to being the usual, with the Patron Saint on the column. And the original statue accessible not only to sight but also to visits from Lecce and tourists. All thanks to the good will and generosity of the citizens. To whom, as mayor, my thanks go“.
“A few days have passed since my last appeal to a local newspaper – adds the archbishop Michele Seccia – and today I am here together with the first citizen to express my joyful gratitude and my sincere applause to the companies and to all the citizens who wanted to offer their support to achieve a goal desired by all: a sign of love and devotion to the our Patron Saint in this special year dedicated to him in memory of the two thousand years since his birth. I have the hope of being able to bless the new statue on the occasion of the feast of Sant’Oronzo in 2023 and applaud with the city and the local Church the return to the column of the square“.