Almost 300 years later, Bernini's canopy in St. Peter's Basilica is getting a face lift

After almost 300 years, the famous bronze canopy in St. Peter's Basilica is getting a face lift.

Time and the microclimate within the basilica has led to the deterioration of original designs. With the canopy's last major restoration in 1758, the basis for launching this project was mainly out of the need to conserve its grandeur.

"This necessary intervention is being undertaken—for the first time in such a systematic and comprehensive way—after 250 years since the major restorations that were done in the 1700s and exactly 400 years after work on the canopy began," said Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica.

But the cardinal clarifies that the work will not stop papal activities in the basilica.

Weighing in at over 60 tons and towering 10 stories high, this masterpiece of Italian art and architecture will be under scaffolding for 10 months. The Order of the Knights of Columbus are funding this restoration work that will cost more than $750,000.

"The decision to support the restoration of the Baldacchino of St. Peter’s Basilica was an easy one for the Knights of Columbus to make," said Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly. "This project also fits very well with our mission and with our history of service to the Church, and especially, the Successors of St. Peter."

The canopy is expected to be finished before the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica for the Jubilee of 2025.