The #UnGesteHistorique campaign
Following the success of the #UnGesteHistorique campaign for the restoration of the Horseshoe staircase carried out with the Fondation du patrimoine in 2018, the new appeal for donations campaign was launched last October to raise the €100,000 needed to restore the Golden Gate and its remarkable frescoes. This subscription has already raised €66,350 and more than 120 patrons.
The total cost of the work is estimated at €650,000. The remaining €550,000 will be financed by corporate sponsorship. A total of €351,000 has already been raised, thanks in particular to support from the Fondation du patrimoine and a generous donation of €300,000 from Gecina.
You too can make a #UnGesteHistorique donation on the Fondation du patrimoine website!
A sponsor committed to heritage
DJ/producer Michael Canitrot has racked up millions of listens across all platforms, and has mixed in some of the world’s most beautiful venues. Highlights include his New Year’s Eve performance at the Château de Chantilly, in front of 6.5 million viewers, as well as at the Eiffel Tower and the Château de Versailles.
Passionate about history, architecture and ambassador of electronic culture, Michael Canitrot is also the founder of the Monumental Tour, an ambitious and committed project. Under the support of the French National Commission for UNESCO, the Monumental Tour is a tour concept combining electronic music, heritage and digital art. It offers an opportunity to bring the past into dialogue with the future, to rediscover our monuments from a new angle, to the sound of electronic music artists and through grandiose shows combining lights and video-projections. Recent performances at Palais-Royal, Château de Pierrefonds, Laon Cathedral, Phare des Baleines on Île de Ré, Château de Vincennes and Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey have attracted thousands of spectators and been viewed by millions of people on social networks and television.
Michael Canitrot and his Monumental Tour were recently honored at the Institut de France during the Fondation Stéphane Bern pour l’Histoire et le Patrimoine awards ceremony, receiving a special prize awarded by the jury.
Native of the Seine-et-Marne region, this talented artist is keen to support the Château de Fontainebleau in this unique restoration project, and to raise community awareness of a cause he holds dear: heritage preservation. The aim of this sponsorship operation is not only to highlight the beauty of the Château de Fontainebleau, but also to underline the need to preserve its treasures by encouraging commitment through subscriptions.
The Golden Gate the first royal entrance to the Château de Fontainebleau
Built under Francis I from 1528, the Golden Gate was the first royal entrance to the château until the 16th century, and is one of the rare artistic testimonies to the Renaissance, along with the Galerie Francis Ier, the Ballroom and the Duchess d’Estampes’ bedroom. Combining gilding, sculpture and painting, this door is a complete masterpiece. The frescoes were painted by the Italian master Primaticcio. The sculpted decorations are dedicated to the glory of the man who commissioned them: Francis Ier. His monogram appears on the capitals and his emblem, the salamander, is enthroned above the large entrance door. It serves as a grandiose setting for welcoming foreign sovereigns. Opening directly onto the forest, it became the privileged passageway for the kings and emperors who lived at the Château to leave and return from their hunting expeditions.
A major restoration project
These frescoes, particularly deteriorated by time, climatic conditions and restoration work carried out in the 20th century, are in danger of disappearing. Following a diagnostic study, restorers and engineers assessed the condition of the frescoes and carried out emergency consolidation work. In 2020, an additional study was carried out to examine the climatic conditions.
Restoration work will focus on consolidating the vestibule vault, renovating the sculpted decorations, woodwork, portico, columns, cornices and coffered ceiling, restoring the paintings, and cleaning and repairing the paving stones. This project represents the first major work to be carried out on Renaissance frescoes in France since the 1960s, its purpose is to present this ensemble to the public and to enrich their understanding of the artistic program intended by Francis I. The restoration will enable visitors to admire Primaticcio’s paintings from the Oval Courtyard.
See you in 2024, when you’ll be able to step through the door and rediscover this Renaissance masterpiece in all its splendor!