An event of exceptional importance will take place in Florence next November: the ecclesiastic Conference entitled “New Humanism in Jesus Christ”, honoured by the presence of Pope Francis, who will participate in the assembly and celebrate the mass at the local stadium. The city is busily preparing for this event, which will not only see a large turnout thanks to the papal visit, but will also offer reflections and hands-on suggestions on how to approach the spiritual and material destiny of our generation, currently tormented by social and existential unease.
The centuries-old Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore institution in its entirety is playing and will continue to play an important role, given that the Conference will be held in the Florentine Cathedral. The ancient institution is therefore responsible for setting up the location, organising logistics and safety, all in close collaboration with the papal institute. It was therefore important to ensure the perfect outcome of an event as important as this one, creating a beautiful, tangible memory in the minds of the faithful and general community, attesting to both the city’s warmth and gratitude. The Holy Father will in fact be presented with a silver medal, containing a symbol of the Opera and the papal coat of arms.
Those attending the Conference will be presented with a similar version in bronze, with the historical Opera coat of arms, the “Agnus Dei” holding up the crossed flag and the image of the Florentine Cathedral, inferred by one of its most ancient figurative documents, the “Codice Rustici” preserved in the archbishop’s seminary, portraying Santa Maria del Fiore (and other churches of the city) as they appeared halfway through the 15th century. The production of these items has been entrusted to the company Picchiani & Barlacchi, which since 1896 has proven its expertise in creating all types of medals, coats of arms, heraldic-type products and artistic objects, and which has always been called upon – even in an international context – for these types of works.
That which Picchiani & Barlacchi has created for the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, is therefore a further demonstration of the professionalism and operative skill offered by this historical Florentine company, which has always provided the best possible solutions to the requests of this ancient vestry, responsible for the construction, maintenance and ornamentation of the city’s most important set of religious monuments since 1296.
Article by Bruno Santi