Of the Gozzoli frescoes, the French writer, Michel Proust, wrote, "For other people, even those of whom we have so often dreamed that they have become nothing more than a picture, a figure by Benozzo Gozzoli standing out upon a background of verdure, as to whom we were prepared to believe that the only variations depended upon the point of view from which we looked at them, their distance from us, the effect of light and shade, these people, while they change in relation to ourself, change also in themselves, and there had been an enrichment, a solidification and an increase of volume in the figure once so simply outlined against the sea." M. Proust, La Prissonière trans. Scott-Moncrieff (ML ed. p. 84)
In past decades and until the 1990s, an Augustinian brother, Fra Romolo O.S.A., was well known around the church.
Stories linger about the racy tales he told Clair Booth Luce (of Time Magazine) during his guided tour.
Not aware of the identity of the guest, he once refused to make an exception and closed the church door to exclude Prince Charles of England when he arrived late, because it was the scheduled afternoon closing time.
In 1929 the town of San Gimignano was declared a protected monument. At the end of the twentieth century a new attention was focused on it, when in 1990 the town was registered in the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
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