21 OCTOBER 2022

MSC Foundation funds restoration of Genoa Cathedral’s famous facade

Generous donation has made MSC Foundation the main partner in this historic effort

Focus Area: Community Support



Genoa’s San Lorenzo Cathedral is a masterpiece of ecclesiastical architecture and a world-renowned symbol of the city, built between the early 12th and late 14th centuries. Its Gothic main façade, dating from the 1330s, determines much of its character, featuring intricate stonework and contrasting rich marble.

Time, however, is rarely kind to beauty and in recent years the façade had not only lost its lustre under the patina of ages, but the stonework was crumbling, mortar was falling out in chunks and its beautiful columns were weakened, making the building dangerous. A general restoration project was urgently required. Cardinal Bagnasco, who was the Archbishop of Genoa from 2006 to 2020, reached out for funding to the MSC Foundation amongst others.

The request was particularly pertinent for the MSC Foundation not only by virtue of its Mission, but equally in recognition of the Group’s strong business ties with the port and city of Genoa over the past 50 years. The Foundation was therefore both eager and prompt to respond, immediately making a substantial donation to fund the complex restoration of the main façade and its three giant doors.

Now, two years on from the beginning of the works, the cathedral is increasingly close to being freed of its scaffolding to once again glory in the Genoese sun.

Restoration of Genoa Cathedral | MSC Foundation

Mons. Carlo Sobrero, Daniela Picco, MSC Foundation Executive Director, S.Em. Card. Angelo Bagnasco

The project has been challenging, as Cathedral Architect Claudio Montagni, explained: “It’s a rather complex restoration, due to the multitude of materials that make this building unique. Unique in the materials chosen and unique in how they have been worked.” 

Cathedral Prefect Monsignor Carlo Sobrero observed: “The façade is such a beloved historic symbol of the city of Genoa. So it’s truly heartfelt when we thank our benefactors for their help with this project, especially Captain Aponte and the MSC Foundation.”

With the works nearing completion, MSC Foundation Executive Director Daniela Picco commented: “The MSC Foundation is proud to have contributed to this important initiative, which is restoring the façade of San Lorenzo Cathedral to its full splendour. Soon, tourists and the Genoese will be able to marvel at its unique architectural forms and colours again.”

To discover more, watch the video here