British art restorer uncovers a lost Giotto masterpiece
The Ognissanti Crucifix was a neglected Italian treasure which a team of experts have now repaired and identified.
The Observer, Sunday 24 October 2010
Anna-Marie Hilling, 33, from Cumbria, has not only fulfilled this dream by becoming one of the handful of restorers trusted to handle the repair of a wooden cross painted in the 1300s; she has now also helped to prove to the world that the cross, the Ognissanti Crucifix, is the work of the early Italian master Giotto.
Early next month the fully restored, five-metre-high cross will leave the laboratory in Florence, where Hilling and her team have laboured for so long, to take up its rightful position in the city’s Ognissanti church. And the day before it goes on public display an international press conference will reintroduce a work of art that, until last year, was assumed to be the work of one of Giotto di Bondone’s relatives or pupils.
“It is a very emotional time for me,” said Hilling this weekend. “At the moment the cross is still in the laboratory, but it is now upright and seeing that gave me such satisfaction……”