As the Christmas festivities approach, an Arnolfian bas-relief of the Nativity, as yet unknown to critics, and the story of its recent restoration, will be at the centre of this year’s last Thursdays in the Museums, scheduled for 13 December in the Conference Hall of the Vatican Museums.
Introduced by Guido Cornini, the meeting will retrace some of the events in the history of the rare Gothic age marble fragment, from its rediscovery in the early 1900s, in an orchard near San Giorgio in Velabo, up to its situation in the cloister of the convent of the Santi Apostoli in Rome, where it continues to be conserved by the Franciscan Friars Minor Conventual.
The speakers will discuss the identity of the Roman sculptor – most likely a follower of Arnolfo di Cambio – who depicted the Nativity, the Annunciation to the shepherds and the washing of the child Jesus, vertically on a single rectangular panel. Attention will be focused on the important restoration work carried out by the CBC cooperative, with the scientific consultation of the Vatican Museums and the generous support of the US charity Ligamina.
There will be several speakers at the presentation: Rev. Br. Agnello Stoia, OFM, Marina Righetti, Anna Maria D’Achille, Barbara Forti, Guy Devreux, Giovanna Martellotti and Graziano Curri.