The Crucifix of the Church of San Zaccaria in Venice

Carla Toffolo, Head of the Permanent Office of the Association of the International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice
Education, Cross-frontier collaboration
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Some of the International private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice (The Dutch, the Italian, the Austrian, along with the British and two American Committees) are financing the restoration of a 14th century Crucifix which was at 22m height in this Church (having Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance origins) which is cherished not only by Catholics but also by Orthodox since it preserves the remains of Saint Zachary.

After a long project phase the Crucifix was removed by some "climbing" restorers, with a 15 hours operation from it location at 22 m in the dome of the presbitery of this Church which used to be adjacent to a convent of nuns who gave some of their land to the Doge to build the Basilica in St. Mark's square. This place has not only a very important historic and artistic history for the important works of art it preserves, but is a witness to the "crossing" of different religions, since Ortohdox go there (to a Catholic church) to pay homage to their most important saint, that is to say Saint Zachary thus witnessing the continuous and long-standing commitment of Venice to a real dialogue. The Crucifix will be restored also thanks to the "in kind" contribution of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage. Our contact details are:

European Dimension

The church is not only a mix of different artistic styles that were born elsewhere in Europe (the Gothic style) or that were born in Italy and then disseminated all over Europe (Renaissance) but also an evidence of the continuous, long-standing and concrete commitment of the Private Committees (from 11 different countries, out of which 7 are European countries, that is to say Austria, France, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany) to the heritage of Venice. The collaboration among Private Committees in Venice is a way to show how -by joining forces - a real development and connection between our shared history and - hopefully - shared future can be achieved. Moreover the collaboration between individual donors, citizens providing their financial support to their national organisations and the public sector, namely the Italian state and Venetian local civic and religious authorities, can be fruitful.

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