The miracle of Cana

ISBN 9-78883 146398

The story told by
this book is in fact about a great painting which the monks commissioned from
Paolo Veronese in 1562. The canvas of about 70 square meters filled the entire
rear wall of Palladio’s Refectory, and was conceived as a logical and glorious trompe-l’oeil completion of the architecture. The
enduring chorus of praise and marvel induced Napoleon and the French – who had
occupied Venice – to seize the work in 1797 as war reparations. Until the
arrival of the facsimile,   the wall remained blank and this was
indeed an open wound that deconstructed the original atmosphere of the
refectory. On 11 September 2007, exactly 210 years after its removal, the
facsimile was “unveiled’ and the overall work of art consisting of the
architecture and painting was fully reconstructed and could once more be
admired. This book tells the story of this adventure. It contains basically
three sections respectively concerning 1) the biography of the original
painting ; 2) the detailed description of the technical processes through which
the facsimile has been produced ; 3) the critical reflection on the aesthetic
and historical significance of this operation, and the new light it brings on
issues of conservation and restoration. Indeed, as many reflections made in the
third session show, the new perspectives created by the facsimile lead us to
conceive the “aura” in a dynamic way, as something which can “migrate,” from
one place to another, from the original to its  “copies.