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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Last Supper

Before leaving the city square, I was thinking if we should go to look for the fashion or to look for a miracle.
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We checked with the tourist information center, and almost positively sure the chances to get the tickets to witness the world famous painting "The Last Supper" was near zero.
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Despite of all the unfavorable facts that we got, we wanted to try our luck anyway...



After we get off from the metro, we had to ask a man for direction. This man was very friendly and helpful that he even walked us some distances so that we could find the way easily.




On the way....




After 15 minutes walking, finally we saw the church in front.




Santa Maria delle Grazia (Holy Mary of Grace) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan. Also, it had been included in the UNESCO World Herritage sites list.
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The church is famous for the mural of "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent. Also, it gains a lot of attention and publicity after the movie "The Da Vinci Code".




Frankly speaking, this church looks nothing too special from its outlook. But it owns the most precious master piece in this world that make it so special instead.

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The time was nearly 6pm when we reached the check-in desk. In order to speed up, the kids and I waited outside, while husband dashed forward and asked the man who sat behind the window if there got any vacant ticket available? As expected, the answer was a definite "NO".

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Just when we were about to leave, I felt we should go to check for once again. This time, I walked near to the desk and asked that same man the same question. To my surprise, he made a gesture to signal me to follow him. Then he introduced me to a man who stood outside of the church, said that man got 1 ticket available for sale. Later, that man told me his friend couldn't make it to the church on time, so he could sell his spare ticket to me.

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Without a single hesitation, I took his ticket. He charged me the exact amount as shown on the ticket, that proved that he is a decent man and wasn't taking any advantage here. Actually, even if he did charge me extra, I won't mind at all.




So, this is the most precious ticket I have ever get in my life. And it only cost me €8 only.
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Husband said I really have 緣份 with the painting, so I should go to view it. He said he would take the boys to the nearby MD restaurant and waited for me.




This is the man who sold his spare ticket to me. I wanted to thank him more, but he looks like the reserved type. So, I think I better leave him alone.




Since the refectory building is so small, only little group of tourists can go in in every 15 minute. I counted my group, exactly 25 person in it. As usual, photo taking is strictly prohibited.
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The procedures of getting inside the hall is very strict. First, we were lead into the 1st waiting room when the exact scheduled time strike. Then, we were "locked" inside the 1st waiting room until the door to enter the 2nd waiting room is opened. Then, we were "locked" again before the door that lead us to the painting is opened. I imagined they were scanning every visitors in detail by some sort of X-ray, or sterilizing us with some sort of gas disinfectant.
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Finally, the last door was opened. Finally, I got to see the most protected painting in this world. Frankly speaking, the painting is not as remarkable as I thought it is, cause the color and the details of the painting has been faded palely. But still, I feel so lucky for having the rare opportunity to see it with my own eyes.



Copy of "The Last Supper" that was hanged outside the hall.


The Last Supper specifically portrays the reaction given by each apostle when Jesus said one of them would betray him. All twelve apostles have different reactions to the news, with various degrees of anger and shock.
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Leonardo da Vinci had began the painting in 1495 and completed it in 1498. Unfortunately, Leonardo tried a new technique here which has led to the deterioration of the painting in very short time. As early as 1517 the painting was starting to flake. By 1556, less than sixty years after it was finished, the painting as already "ruined" and so deteriorated that the figures were unrecognizable. The painting's appearance in the late 1970s was badly deteriorated.
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From 1978-1999, a major restoration project was carried out to permanently stabilize the painting, and reverse the damage caused by dirt, pollution, and the misguided 18th and 19th century restoration attempts. Since it had proved impractical to move the painting to a more controlled environment, the refectory was instead converted to a sealed, climate controlled environment, which meant bricking up the windows.
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This restoration took 21 years and on May 28, 1999 the painting was put back on display. Since then, attending visitors are required to book ahead and can only stay for 15 minutes in the sealed room.




By the time I came out from the church, all of the entrance had been closed already. Looks like we were the last batch to go.
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Husband and the boys were outside there waiting for me. I was like an open-cage bird, illustrating the painting to husband non stoppable, in a show off manner (shame of myself). Really, I felt like I was one of the luckiest people in the world on that day.
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The boys complained about their tiredness in such a fussy way that we got to go back to the hotel straight away. After dinner, they refused to walk anymore. So my Fashion-plan had gone into vain. Although I am not a fashion follower, I felt a bit disappointed for not being able to see and feel the real fashion city with my own eyes. Sigh, like said : things just won't always to the way we want it to be...
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We woke up in a heavy downpour the next morning, so heavy that we would for sure get ourself all wet if to walk outside. Well, no point to worry. So, we went to the downstair restaurant to take our buffet breakfast first. The breakfast was surprisingly good, I felt so full and content with it.
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Lucky we, the rain get so much smaller by the time we need to go, otherwise, we would need to call a cab even though it's just a 10 minutes walking distance from our hotel to the airport bus' station.
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OK, finally I had completed this super long journal. Gosh, can't believe I took 3 months to document the whole trip. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't give it up somewhere.....
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1 comments:

Jackie Champion said...

Hey there! This is a good read! How I wish I could visit this place someday. You have a very informative and interesting page. Keep writing good stuff like this. I'll be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. I had so much fun reading and of course to have additional learnings from you with this blog. Kudos! Thank you so much for sharing with us an information about this one.
Based on what I have read on a website, the institution of the Lord's Supper is recorded in the three Synoptic Gospels and in Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. The words of institution differ slightly in each account, reflecting a Marcan tradition (upon which Matthew is based) and a Pauline tradition (upon which Luke is based). In addition, Luke 22:19b-20 is a disputed text, which does not appear in some of the early manuscripts of Luke. Some scholars therefore believe that it is an interpolation, while others have argued that it is original.
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