To my surprise, this summer a replica of The Golden Gates of Paradise appeared at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, one of the finest institutions in Kansas City and really the entire nation. I was amazed to see this up close, and even more amazed to find this is the only replica that exists outside of Florence. During the flood of 1966 of the Arno in Florence, the Golden Gates were badly water damaged. Once the flooding subsided, intense conservation work was done to preserve the quality of the brass doors created by Lorenzo Ghiberti in 1452. Using lasers they etched out the grime that had adhered to the surface, and were able to make a plaster cast of the bronze masterpiece. Only two replicas were cast: one remains in the original baptistry doors, the original is now housed in a museum in Florence, and the second copy is now permanently at the Nelson! I forget the benefactor who donated the pieces, and will surely update this with more information later.