The restoration of the Kremlin
In 1933 Stalin transformed two wonderful halls of the Kremlin festivals, the halls of Sant’Andrea and Sant’Alessandro, in a large room for the meetings of the CPSU, destroying the original furnishings and the sumptuous decorations. When we were called in 1998 for their complete restoration we found two half-empty halls with exposed brick walls, and the rough concrete floor. It was necessary to bring them back to their former glory, and in a short time.
The contract was won by a group of Florentine artisans led by Sauro Martini and Fiorenza Bartolozzi, including, for bronze castings and lighting fixtures, the Fonderia Artistica Ferdinando Marinelli; and for the marble works the Galleria Bazzanti.
We had to create, from approximate drawings, all the models of the sculptures, the giant chandeliers and appliques, and a marble fireplace, and then make them in bronze and marble. It was a complex but fascinating adventure, which put a strain on all the Florentine artisans who contributed to the splendid restoration.
The work went on among many difficulties, the drawings provided by the Russian military were approximate, some even unattainable, and the commissions that visited Italy were always different each with their own ideas and requests. What had to be a restoration turned out to be a real reconstruction from scratch.
Among the many models that have ordered us we remember the Bicept Eagle and the Saint Andrew’s Cross, which have replaced the bas-reliefs with scythe and hammer. The gilded bronze bases of the gigantic pillars were also made.
The huge chandeliers that we had to create from the drawings were in three overlapping circles with hundreds of lights and decorations,
the wall appliques are also gigantic,
the fireplace particularly elaborate.
The assembly was long but the result was magnificent.