If it were not for an unexpected morning rain, Kansas City would not be able to get a huge gift like this: a bronze copy of the "Heaven’s gate" painted by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the 15th century. The original gilded doors were made for the eastern entrance of the Florentine Baptistery of San Giovanni from 1425 to 1452. They depict scenes from the Old Testament and have stunning virtuosic relief figures.

When Michelangelo saw the masterpiece, he said: "They really deserve to be the Gates of Paradise."

From now on the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, mounts a bronze copy of the famous doors in the hallway. Museum Director Julián Zugazagoitia considers it a great success that a copy of this Renaissance masterpiece will be placed in their museum.

Unexpected discovery
In 2015, when the trustee of Nelson-Atkins Paul DeBruce and his wife Linda Woodmull-DeBruce visited Florence, the rain interrupted their plans to hike the hills around the city. Instead, they went to the Art Studio of the Frilli Gallery sculpture and met the Development Director Clara Marinelli, who invited them to visit the Foundry.

DeBruce discovered that two copies of the gate were created at the foundry in 1990; one of them was intended to replace the original doors to the baptistery (which were moved to the Opera del Duomo museum). The second bronze version was made for the Japanese assembler Chochiro Motoyama, an importer of Italian luxury goods, who personally financed the restoration of the original doors and replacement casting. It should be noted that the second copy owned by Motoyama was left in the warehouse, and it was only twice open to public at exhibitions in India and South Korea.

DeBruce purchased a copy from a Japanese collector. They transported the gates to New York by ship, and then to Kansas City by train and truck. Doors were more than 5 meters high weighing almost four and a half tons, will be open to the public at the end of this year. People feel really concerned about these doors "because of their narrative quality," says Zugazagoitia. The depicted scenes, including "The Creation of Adam and Eve," fill ten square panels. "The relief is shallow at the bottom and deeper at the top," was made to create the illusion of depth and movement, says the senior curator of the Museum of European Art, Amy Marceur De Galan.

"What could be better than going into the museum and seeing a great work of art?"