The citizens of Florence have been given the power to decide if the Church of San Lorenzo should be restored according to plans designed by Michelangelo in 1518.
Michelangelo won the commission to design the façade of the Florentine church after beating out Raphael and Giuliano da Sangallo. Even though Pope Leo X had accepted the classical design, technical and financial problem arose that made it impossible to secure the correct materials.
Michelangelo left behind a wooden model detailing his ideas for the church façade, and now Florence’s mayor, Matteo Renzi, is bringing the 16th Century plans to the centre of a very modern debate.
The citizens of Florence are now being officially invited to share their views in a cultural referendum. Some would like to see Michelangelo’s design brought to fruition, but others have warned against the dangers of creating a poor imitation of the maestro’s style.