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MUSEUM OF SACRED ART OF THE ABBEY OF VALLOMBROSA

Inaugurated in June of 2006, the Museum occupies a section of the Abbey at the back to the right, and displays a large part of the artistic heritage still present in the Abbey. The large hall hosts a sampling of various treasures, displayed in elegant showcases: there, we can find sacred vestments, a selection of paintings (which will be displayed in rotation among those belonging to the Abbey), books and illuminated manuscripts, useful objects such as majolica tiles or ancient missals, and lastly the collection of scagliole made by don Enrico Hugford. Two treasures in the exhibition are particularly outstanding, both of which returned home on the occasion of the opening of the Museum after having been sent away from there ever since the 19th century, as a result of the abolition of the monastic institutions. These are the famous Parato Altoviti, consisting of a frontal, two tunicles and a chasuble that show off sumptuous embroideries, and the large altar-piece with the Madonna and Child and Four Saints by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his assistants, which with its enamel colours has returned to shine after a long and complicated restoration. Both works are on temporary loan from the Florentine galleries from which they had been acquired starting in the 19th century. Precious liturgical furnishings have converged in the small adjacent room of treasures, among which are many chalices, glass reliquaries or ones made of carved and gilded wood, as well as monstrances. The very precious large reliquary of St Giovanni Gualberto’s arm is prominent: it was commissioned in silver and enamels by Abbot Biagio Milanesi to the famous goldsmith Giovanni Sogliani, who executed it during the year 1500.

For further informations: Museum of sacred art of the Abbey of Vallombrosa.

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