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St Mark’s Basilica is scaffold-free for first time in 20 years

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The façade of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice is now scaffold-free for the first time since 1994—and should remain so for at least a few months. The 11th-century monument is normally under “continuous maintenance”, says the procurator of St Mark’s, Carlo Alberto Tesserin. Despite the arrival of lasers and protective resins, technology cannot replace the slow and steady work of skilled specialists, adds the architect Mario Piana, who oversees conservation work at the basilica. Sculptures are carefully consolidated before cleaning—a process that can be repeated “up to five times”, Piana says. Restoration is ongoing on the basilica’s eastern side.