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during the following centuries, the san pancrazio structure underwent strong transformations according to the change of taste of the times; until, in the mid-nineteenth century, the church was completely transformed according to a project by architect, giuseppe ruggieri. The moderately baroque configuration was not the last metamorphosis of the building; as a consequence of the tumultuous events of the napoloeonic era, the church of san pancrazio was deconsecrated by an edict on october 20th 1808. following the suppression of religious orders and confiscation of the property of the convents, the furnishings of the church were auctioned and dispersed, and the church was destined for sale within the imperial lottery of france. following the closure of the rucellai chapel, the alberti triforium present on the façade was dismantled and reconstructed according to an altered form of the original composition. access to the rucellai chapel was formerly a fundamental element in defining the façade on the square. a large semi-circular window topped the new reconstruction of Alberti’s triforium, giving rise to an unexpected neoclassical aspect. after being the seat of the prefecture, in 1883, the ex-church of san pancrazio was destined to house a tobacco manufacturing operation, and the transformation and tampering continued: the eighteenth century nave was divided into two floors by means of a metal slab (the bolted iron beams can be observed at present). in 1937, the church became a military warehouse, accompanying the nearby barracks, which meanwhile had been installed in the adjacent convent. between the nineteen sixties and seventies, the church was abandoned by the military administration, and the building began to be recovered.
since 1982, the restoration of the complex of san pancrazio was entrusted to the architects, lorenzo papi and bruno sacchi. to be precise, the project by these two architects needed to emerge from a partial intervention already in operation in previous years, during which the baroque interior facade was demolished and two trellises were elevated to support a new vestibule covering. The guiding thread of the restoration, understood not as a pure abstract exercise in going back in time, but instead as adapting to the new museum function, aimed at restoring the readability of the monumental structure in all its forms, from the medieval shell to the eighteenth-century insides, along with the additional iron protoindustrial superstructures of the late nineteenth century. the ex-novo intervention is mainly characterized by the disappearance of a free path – stairs and walkways are clearly identified by their shape and color from ancient artifacts – which allows the visitor to fully recognize and interchange the memories of an ancient history and the exceptional work of a modern theme, and, at present, to that of marino marini. The only sector where today’s project has had to intervene with a radical reinvention is the wall at the end of the main nave, corresponding to the old choir, of which there were few remains. This was resolved with a “wall of light”, a large window marked by a frame whose abstract geometry replicates the strength of the ancient building.