After Bernini, now it's Giotto's turn: one of his works on display at Fiumicino airport

After Bernini, it's Giotto's turn: on display at Fiumicino airport are three stained glass fragments attributed to the great Tuscan painter, on loan from the Santa Croce Museum in Florence. And of course this exhibition is causing much discussion.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) company, among the various initiatives put in place atFiumicino airport is the display of three fragments of stained glass attributed to Giotto and on loan from theOpera di Santa Croce in Florence. The Roman airport thus replicates last year’s much-discussed initiative, when it was Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Salvator Mundi that was displayed at the airport.

Leonardo da Vinci Airport, ADR explains in a note, “is the first and only Italian 5-star Skytrax airport and best airport in Europe for quality, in the hub category with more than 40 million passengers, over the last six years. In this journey, art and culture have been the other great interpreters: today Leonardo da Vinci is positioned as a ’Museum spread,’ enhancing the immense Italian cultural and artistic heritage in all its declinations.” Hence the idea of displaying Giotto’s works: these are the stained glass windows depicting the prophet Aaron and two deacons. They are owned by the Fondo Edifici di Culto del Ministero dell’Interno and formed the upper part of a stained-glass window dated around 1310 originally positioned at the end of the right aisle of the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence.

The three fragments of the stained-glass window, usually kept at the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce, were recognized as works by Giotto in the 1980s by Miklos Boskovits, according to whom the stained-glass window was designed and partly also painted by the great Tuscan artist. According to ADR, now the stained glass windows, “thanks to their new location in the setting of the new Pazza in Terminal 1, will be able to be admired in the coming months by millions of passengers departing and arriving for domestic, European and intercontinental destinations.”

“It is a matter of honor,” said Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, “to see the 50th anniversary event of Aeroporti di Roma associated with the works of the buildings of worship fund under the care of the Ministry of ’Interior. These are important initiatives for us; it’s the second one we’ve done. Before the works unveiled today we had the exhibition of Bernin’s Salvator Mundi. Fiumicino airport is one of the main gateways to the country and Europe, a point of excellence in the international airport system, and the buildings of worship fund gathers an immense heritage of artistic, architectural and monumental works. We have 840 churches with so many assets contained within them. It’s a way to activate a program of doing so much to bring people to the works of art and bring the works of art to the people.”

Still, the exhibition continues to cause discussion: in particular, there are questions about whether the airport is an appropriate place to display works of art, and whether it is proper for fragile works such as Giotto’s glass fragments to be displayed in such settings.

The three fragments of Giotto's stained-glass window
The three fragments of Giotto’s stained glass window
The fragments at Fiumicino airport. The fragments at
Fiumicino airport

After Bernini, now it's Giotto's turn: one of his works on display at Fiumicino airport
After Bernini, now it's Giotto's turn: one of his works on display at Fiumicino airport

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