Milan’s Duomo organ in dire straits

Donations needed for repair of organ in Milan's cathedral.

The future of an extraordinary artistic and mechanical masterpiece is at risk: that of the grand organ of the Duomo di Milano, Italy’s largest and the second largest in Europe after St Stephen’s in Passau.

A little less than a century old, the impressive organ filling Milan’s cathedral with sacred music is in a poor state of repair, and benefactors are being invited to subscribe to the fund.

Dust, oxidation and other factors are causing decay, and the total cost of the restoration is estimated at over one million Euros.

Although most of the instrument dates from 1938, parts of the organ are far older, such as the large canvas depictions of scenes from the Old and New Testaments covering the pipes, and dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, by the Milanese painter and architect Giuseppe Meda and the “Vasari of Lombardy”, Camillo Procassini.

The 15,800 pipes, from a few centimetres to over 9 mt long, and 180 stops need maintenance and have inspired the slogan “15,800 notes for the Duomo” for the funding campaign.

Benefactors donating €50 or more will be entered in the official donors’ album held by the Veneranda Fabbrica, the organisation which since 1387 has managed first the construction and ever since the maintenance of the building.

Donors’ portraits will be uploaded to the official Duomo website, and they will be offered three tickets for two guests at upcoming organ concerts in the cathedral.

Taking part in the appeal is simple: you can donate immediately by visiting the website. For more information, you can also call the toll-free number 800 528 477 (from Italy only).