Museums at Work
Museums at Work

Museums at Work

From the Sword to the Cross

The restored Reliquary of Saint Galgano

7 December 2022 – 18 February 2023
Room XVII, Pinacoteca

What more intimate and evocative environment than Room XVII in the Vatican Pinacoteca to host, from 7 December, the precious Reliquary of Saint Galgano: a masterpiece of 14th century Sienese goldsmithery, which has been the subject of a delicate restoration project lasting over six months, conducted - with professionalism and profound respect for devotional tradition - in the Vatican Museum laboratories in the aftermath of the historic discovery of the famous artefact, scandalously stolen from the Montarioso Seminary Museum in Monteriggioni back in 1989.

Before being returned in all its rediscovered splendour to the Archdiocese of Siena, and thus to the local community that has venerated it since time immemorial, the reliquary - made of gilded copper, silver and translucent enamels - will also be visible to visitors to the Vatican Museums, which will thus have the privilege, until 18 February, of being able to appreciate at close quarters both the artistic beauty and the spiritual significance of the sacred object, now healed from the "wounds" and damage caused by the theft and poor state of conservation over the last 32 years.

A rich didactic and iconographic accompaniment will support visitors in the historical-artistic understanding of the work, originally from the well-known abbey of Saint Galgano, and will guide them in the reading of the miniature scenes from the life of the Saint and his symbolic sword.