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Legend has it that when Rainald of Dassel brought the relics of the Magi from Milan, he also brought with him a statue of the Madonna. This high Gothic carving of the Milan Madonna was made in the cathedral workshop sometime around 1280/90 as a replacement for the original, which was obviously lost in the fire that destroyed the old cathedral. This is the oldest representation of the Madonna in the cathedral that is said to have miraculous powers. Originally, the painted carving stood beneath a baldachin crowned with a gable on the altar of the Lady Chapel. Like the figures on the choir piers, which it resembles in terms of its posture and garments, the Milan Madonna was influenced by French art. The figure was restored sometime around 1900; the colouring, sceptre and crown date from this period.
Dr. Klaus Hardering, Kunsthistoriker