Milan, restoration of Palazzo Marino facades starts, funded by Tod's

The restoration of the facades of Palazzo Marino in Milan, financed by the Tod's group, starts today. The work, worth 2.2 million euros, will last 16 months.

The restoration of the facades of Palazzo Marino, financed by the Tod’s group, starts today in Milan. The workers involved in the intervention will be at work taking care of the historic surfaces of the main front on Piazza della Scala, before moving on in four months to the next stage of the project on the Via Case Rotte side. The 2.2 million euro intervention is being carried out thanks to funding from Diego Della Valle’s group, which purchased the image rights, and the Jesurum-Leoni Comunicazione agency of US-The Future is Now srls, which won the Municipality of Milan’s call for technical sponsors.

The planned restoration involves all the facades of the Palazzo, those outside on Piazza della Scala, Piazza San Fedele, Via Case Rotte and Via Marino covering an area of 5,345 square meters, and those inside on the Cortile d’Onore, with the original elements dating back to the 16th century of the portico and loggia, covering 2,224 square meters. The work will last a total of 16 months. According to the schedule, the restoration of the facade on Piazza della Scala is expected to be completed by the end of August 2024, after which the construction site will move to Via Case Rotte, Piazza San Fedele, and finally Via Marino, with a work duration of 4 months for each facade. From April 2025 to September 2025, when the work is completed, the interior facades of the courtyard of honor will also be restored, ensuring the continuity of the functions and work regularly carried out at Palazzo Marino.

Compared to the current state of the facades, we note the damage suffered due to pollution, which has mainly affected the stone parts. Smog and fine dust have made the surfaces of the building opaque and dirty, also affecting their integrity. Projecting parts of the building, such as the decorations around the columns, have suffered noticeable erosion. There is evidence of undesirable vegetation growth (algae and moss) that contributes to the deterioration of the building, especially in the low sun and humid areas. Degradation phenomena also affect the mortar between the stones with possible water infiltration into the masonry. The most substantial work will be concentrated on the four exterior fronts of the Palace, while the interior courtyard will see milder interventions through cleaning and maintenance that respects the existing.

In line with the directives of the Public Works of Lombardy of 2023 and in continuous comparison with the Archaeological, Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendence of Milan, for the entire restoration process-from the initial cleaning to the drafting of the final protection-will be used products with low environmental impact characterized by maximum compatibility with the materials present, for example with the “ceppo gentile del Brembo,” a type of natural conglomerate stone from the Bergamo area, which characterizes the exterior facades. To date, all the exterior surfaces have been scanned to get a complete and precise view of the areas of intervention, while the start of the actual restoration operations will be preceded by thorough checks, thanks to technologies such as videoendoscopy, thermography and magnetometer to assess the condition of the artifact in detail.

The restoration process will follow several steps: it will begin with a thorough cleaning to remove accumulated dirt and reveal underlying damage; it will move on to the removal of unwanted vegetation, using special products that are both effective and safe for the stone; and finally, damaged parts of the Palace, including the mortar joints between stones, will be repaired, providing new materials that are compatible with the original ones. In addition, where necessary, the color of the mortar will also be improved to match the historic pre-existence. Finally, protection will be applied to preserve the original surfaces. The narrative: scientific popularization, “Open Yards” days and the cesata The restoration narrative will be ongoing and will appeal to different audiences: for insiders, in addition to a final publication, there will be dedicated seminars and reports; for the general public, on the other hand, initiatives such as the “Cantieri Aperti” days and a graphic intervention on the caesata, which will be illustrated to tell the story of Palazzo Marino through six centuries and 14 characters, are planned.

From Galeazzo Alessi, architect of the Palace to Marianna De Leyva, known as the Nun of Monza; from the Monatto, who was in charge of the removal of corpses during the plague of the 17th century to Don Carlo Omodeo, owner of the Palace at the turn of the 18th century; from the Architect of La Scala Giuseppe Piermarini, who also intervened in Palazzo Marino to the lamplighter who took care of the lighting of the Palace and the Piazza in the 19th century; from the noblewomen Cristina Trivulzio di Belgioioso and Clara Maffei who animated the Palace’s cultural life during the Risorgimento to Giuseppe Mazzini and Alessandro Manzoni. The 19th century closes with architect Luca Beltrami, creator of the completion of the façade on Piazza della Scala, to the 20th century with postwar mayor Antonio Greppi and maestro Toscanini, to a contemporary theophore heralding the 2026 Olympic appointment. The site cesata is curated by Michele Brunello with illustrator Andrea Angeli and Alice Piciocchi with Mario Cicellyn Comneno, and enhanced by an augmented reality experience curated by Ultra.

The talk will also be an opportunity to introduce citizens and tourists to the six centuries of history of Palazzo Marino. The telling of the events and anecdotes related to the building will be entrusted to the days of “Cantieri Aperti” and an illustrated narrative about the caesars, curated by Michele Brunello with Andrea Angeli and Alice Piciocchi with Mario Cicellyn Comneno and enriched by an augmented reality experience curated by Ultra. Fourteen historical figures will be featured: from Galeazzo Alessi, architect of the Palace, to Marianna De Leyva, the Nun of Monza, from architect Giuseppe Piermarini to Cristina Trivulzio di Belgioioso, from Giuseppe Mazzini to Alessandro Manzoni, from mayor Antonio Greppi to maestro Arturo Toscanini. There will be no shortage of initiatives to popularize science, with seminars and a volume for the specialized public.

Diego Della Valle, Chairman and CEO of Tod’s Group S.p.a. says, “As I have already had occasion to say, we are very pleased to do something important and concrete for Milan. The restoration of Palazzo Marino, which all citizens consider their home, allows us to give a strong signal of respect and gratitude to Milan and the Milanese.”

“We are proud to carry out such an important activity for Milan. The Agency confirms itself as an innovator in Public Private projects, led by consultant Michela Jesurum. Thanks to Tod’s Group, which makes the restoration possible,” says Tommaso Isacco Leoni, administrator of Jesurum-Leoni Comunicazione.

Milan, restoration of Palazzo Marino facades starts, funded by Tod's
Milan, restoration of Palazzo Marino facades starts, funded by Tod's

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