The newly refurbished Italian Cast Court (now named the Weston Cast Court) opened November following the completion of the first phase of the V&A's renovation of its day-lit courts. The conservation work, which involved restoration work to the ceramic tiled floor and the glazed roof, pays tribute to the Cast Court's original colours, architectural details and finishes.
Collecting plaster-cast reproductions and electrotypes reached the height of popularity in the mid to late nineteenth century, when few people could travel abroad to see the originals. The South Kensington Museum (as the V&A was then known) was at the forefront of the enthusiasm, presenting reproductions of European monuments and works of art to the public. The collection includes a five-metre high cast of Michelangelo's David and a set of electrotype doors cast from the Gates of Paradise at Florence cathedral.
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