In a recent announcement from the ESSECI Studio Press Office, authorities found missing parts of a precious artwork, the Golden Tree of Lucignano. This masterpiece was created by a famous goldsmith named Gabriello D’Antonio from Siena.
The Golden Tree of Lucignano is known as one of the greatest examples of Italian gold art. It consists of three parts much like a plant with roots, a trunk, and leaves. Moreover, this beautiful artwork represents the various parts of the life of Christ: origin, passion, and glory, as reported by Heritage Daily.
This impressive artwork stands at 2.70 meters tall. It was constructed at two different times between 1350 and 1471. It is crafted from gilded copper, silver, and enamel, and the branches are adorned with coral, crystals, and small paintings on parchment. Nowadays, people also call it the Tree of Love because it is viewed as a good luck symbol for lovers.
Golden Tree stolen and shattered into fragments by thieves
In 1914, thieves stole the Golden Tree. They broke it into pieces, probably to sell it secretly. Only parts of the branches and the large base remained.
Between 1927 and 1929, people found some of the broken pieces. They worked on reassembling it for quite some time, and in 1933, it was restored using the recovered fragments. However, the most important parts, such as the crucifix, four round medallions, five silver plates, and the top part of the temple knot, were still missing, according to Heritage Daily.
As mentioned in the press release, the Carabinieri Art Squad received a tip about a cave in the Arezzo region of central Tuscany. In this cave, they also discovered five plaques from the Golden Tree initially attached to the back of the branch medallions.
One of the pieces of parchment with a portrait of a prophet, a smooth rock crystal that was used to make the portrait bigger, and sixteen figures of saints made of thin layers of silver that decorated the base were also discovered.
Reintegrating the recently discovered pieces of the Golden Tree of Lucignano
The Opificio delle Pietre Dure has taken on the important task of putting the pieces that were recently found back together.
Moreover, the Golden Tree will be disassembled step by step, making sure the main part of the artwork remains available for public viewing during restoration.
Dr. Andrea Di Pasquale, the Director General of Education, Research, and Cultural Institutes at the Ministry of Culture, expressed his hope by stating, “I hope that the parts of the Golden Tree that have not yet been found can be recovered as soon as possible to finally return this work in its entirety to the community.”