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You Can Soon See Massive ‘Gates of Paradise’ Casts at Nelson-Atkins

July 13, 2017

A pair of massive bronze doors are being installed this week at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Bloch Building.

The “Gates of Paradise” are 4 1/2 -ton casts of the original doors created in the 15th century workshop of sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti for a facade at the Baptistery of the Duomo cathedral in Florence, Italy.

The original gates feature panels depicting biblical stories and were on the Baptistery for nearly five centuries, until imminent threat of Nazi bombing forced their removal to a railway tunnel outside Florence.

When the danger passed, casts were made, and a set was purchased by Nelson trustees Paul DeBruce and Linda Woodsmall-DeBruce, who promised them to the museum.

A release from the museum states the installation in the Nelson-Atkins will be the first time the casts will be seen in a U.S. museum. They’ll be on view for museum visitors beginning in September.

More info on the gates can be found at nelson-atkins.org.

David Frese: 816-234-4463, @DavidFrese