April 12th 2008 the Saint’s corpse was translated from the Ark Chapel of the Santo to the S. Giacomo’s Chapel.
Later on the restoring interventions of the Ark Chapel in the S. Antonio’s Basil in Padua started.
The first construction site involves the structural part, that is Chapel’s masonry, which for long has been damaged by humidity seepages (due either to ascent or weather events).
Since the XIV Century, the Chapel, pointed to the North, has had so many preservation problems that in the XVI Century it was necessary to intervene with the total renovation and the substitution of the original frescos with marbles and bronzes (that it is still possible to admire inside).
At the same time, with the lightest possible impact and respecting the spirituality of the place, the diagnostic researches have been continued. These researches concern the marble high-relieves representing the Saint’s miracles, the magnificent artistic cycle realized by Sansovino, Lombardo and by other artists of the XVI Century (which is considered one of the artistic treasures in the Basilica).
There were critical problems for the preservation of the high-relieves, due to the umidity penetrating walls, entering in the precious marbles and creating detaching and breaking processes.
Other damages came from the chemical consequences of dust, candles’ smoke, incense and from the variation of the inside microclimate caused by the influx of more than 4 millions pilgrims per year visiting the Basilica and paying homage to the Saint of the miracles.
The creation of a construction site including the Chapels was realized through an intervention lasted around 20 months.
The restoring interventions concerning the Ark Chapel were carried out thanks to the commitment of the Ark of S.Antonio, the Institution in charge of providing the preservation and the improvements of the S.Antonio’s Basilica monumental architecture and of the other connected buildings.
The Foundation Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo and the Venetian Heritage Found, financing together the restoring project with the needed amount of 600.000 euro, made these interventions feasible.
An ad hoc scientific and technical committee, appointed by the Veneranda Ark, checked all the phases of the above-mentioned interventions.
The committee supported the President of the Arca, Gianni Berno, the Presidents delegated for the preservation and restoration of the Basilica’s Estate and the Director of the constructions site.
After a 20 months restoration, the Chapel of the Holy Ark was opened December 4, 2009 and February 21st , 2010 the Saint's body was returned to the Chapel, where pilgrims may still visit the His tomb and admire the beautiful XVI Century reliefs and other masterpieces of great historical and artistic value.
information for visitors:
Info Basilica of Saint Anthony: Ph. (+39) 049.8789722 - Fax (+39) 049.8789735 - e-mail: email@example.com