Right after the end of the Second World War, Fiorenzo Bartolozzi and Giuseppe Maioli were summoned to Montecassino and asked to renovate the wooden choir and sacristy of the town’s famous Benedictine Abbey, which had been destroyed in a terrible 1945 air raid by the Allies.
The two master craftsmen had founded their Bottega d’arte in 1938, and had been working as sculptors and wood restorers ever since, in Italy and abroad.
They had been selected “after a careful search for the best skilled artisans for the difficult job”. There had been “scrupulous tests with workers in Alto Adige and in Tuscany; all agreed that the former did not offer better quality than the latter. All carved parts were created by Bartolozzi and Maioli’s wood carving company in Florence, and specifically by Florentine workers…” (T. Breccia Fratadocchi, “La ricostruzione dell’abbazia di Montecassino”, Gangemi Editore, Rome 2014).
The two friends spent twelve years bringing the 17th-century wooden masterpieces back to their original splendor.
It has been a long time since that huge endeavor, but today Bottega d’arte Bartolozzi e Maioli – now under Fiorenzo Bartolozzi’s daughter – continues to perpetuate the same magnificent, world-renowned tradition in craftsmanship.