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Behind the Mosaic: Handcrafted in Italy

310 tons of intricate steel scaffolding is erected in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. This ensures that the nearly 20,000 square feet of the Trinity Dome is easily accessible for the upcoming installation of one of the largest mosaics in the world. Meanwhile, designers in Italy are hard at work on the mosaic, organizing every detail in preparation for laying the first tile.


Trinity Dome Scaffolding: The Journey Begins in the U.S.

While the mosaic is underway in Spilimbergo, Italy, intense preparation is taking place at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Over 24 tons of Venetian glass must be affixed to the Dome, while Masses are to be held in the nave below. Thus, it was necessary to create a scaffold to support hundreds of tons of weight and provide the artists access to the dome ceiling to install the mosaic tiles, while minimally impeding Shrine functions below.


Blessing of the Trinity Dome Worksite and Workers

Atop an elaborate scaffolding structure suspended 150 feet above the nave of the Great Upper Church, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington and Chairman of the National Shrine’s Board of Trustees, and Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, Rector of the Basilica, blessed the worksite and workers in the apex of the Trinity Dome, the central and largest dome of the Basilica…

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