News Marzo 2016
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11 March Mar 2016 1506 10 months ago

A revealing bolt of lightning

When a violent Spring storm was the indirect cause of an important restoration

In March of 1967 a terrible bolt of lightning struck the Madonnina, perforating the halberd and burning the hands, the outer folds of the mantle, and part of the garment's sleeves.

An initial inspection revealed only superficial damage, primarily to the sheets of embossed copper that plate the statue. Soon, however, additional and more in-depth inspections revealed the precarious state of the statue's internal skeleton, which was almost entirely covered in rust.

A discovery that was as surprising as it was bitter considering that only several years earlier, during the restoration of the Madonnina's spire, the structure was still in excellent shape. Thus, a significant restoration project was inevitable, consisting primarily in the creation of a new steel frame and in the gilding and replacement of the lightning protection system, strengthened with the help of to two new ground wires that now guarantee the proper dispersion of electrical energy, also in the event of particularly violent storms.