#CrazyforPazzi: Help Restore a 15th Century Loggia in Florence

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 03:53
pazzi loggia santa croce florence

One for the history books, the first Kickstarter campaign ever done by a major cultural institution in Florence to save a 500-year-old loggia, the Pazzi chapel in the Basilica of Santa Croce. It will run from November 17th to December 19th and you can help to make it happen!

The Opera di Santa Croce, the non-profit institution responsible for the administration of the basilica of Santa Croce, the principal Franciscan church of the city, will be running a Kickstarter campaign from November 17th to raise the monies needed to restore the loggia of the Pazzi Chapel. The campaign will run for just over one month, ending on December 19th.

The target is to raise 95,000 USD in 33 days using the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter.

The loggia of the Pazzi Chapel was created almost entirely in pietra serena, a grey sandstone that tends to crumble over time. A close look at the façade, columns and sculpted decorations reveals extensive damage where the stone has disintegrated both on the surface and from within, causing pieces to fall off. In recent years, Opera di Santa Croce has intervened on two separate occasions to ensure safety.

Restorers removed decorative elements that were in danger of falling, carefully numbering and diagramming them and putting them into storage. Despite every effort to preserve the loggia, a complete restoration is now urgently required; it will involve careful cleaning, re-integration of the removed parts, and final protection.

It is important to note that Opera di Santa Croce has raised 50% of the funds required to carry out this restoration, slated to begin in early 2015. The institution is calling for public support in order to raise the remainder. In so doing, donors will become part of the 720-year-long history of Santa Croce, as their names will be inscribed in the historical archive of this great “temple of memory”.

The history of Santa Croce includes a long list of private donors who helped build the church and maintain it over the centuries well before we came up with the name "crowdfunding". In 1423, a fire damaged part of the related convent and library, and rich families like the Medici, the Spinelli and the Pazzi, helped the town repair the area that had been destroyed. In 1429, Andrea Pazzi, head of the Pazzi family, whose wealth was second only to the Medici, put together the funding to build the chapel dedicated to Saint Andrea, which now is known as the Pazzi Chapel. In 1860, hundreds of people responded to an open call to help create a new façade for the church. Now it is time to help again and save a loggia built by Duomo mastermind Filippo Brunelleschi.

Campaign backers will receive a variety of rewards depending on the level of the donation, such as modern lithographs and commemorative medals. Plus, this is an incredible chance to be part of history helping future generations enjoy this beautiful loggia.

We support the initiative and hope you will 'help us to help' with the project! We also loved the original hashtag they chose for the campaign, #crazyforpazzi, which plays around the meaning of the Pazzi family surname, which in Italian means 'crazy'.

The Kickstarter campaign is running until December 19th, 2014; to contribute and learn more about the project and about special #crazyforpazzi themed events, including local instameets, please visit the Kickstarter's page or The Florentine