Restorers save Giotto frescoes in Assisi’s Chapel of the Magdalene – art and culture

They are utilizing medical syringes in Assisi lately, but it surely has nothing to do with the pandemic. Restorers are utilizing them to save priceless 700-12 months-outdated frescoes by Giotto.

They are virtually completed with a 12 months-lengthy venture to wash and consolidate the frescoes in the Chapel of the Magdalene in the decrease basilica of St. Francis that homes the tomb of the thirteenth century saint.

The frescoes depict scenes from the life of Mary Magdalene, together with one the place Jesus resurrects Lazarus.

Several years in the past, throughout a test of the frescoes, chief restorer Sergio Fusetti heard hole sounds when he knocked on them, indicating that the plaster holding them was slowly detaching from the partitions.

Officials determined to hold out the first restoration of the frescoes in practically 50 years.

“After the cleaning we do the consolidation. That is done by making tiny holes and using a plastic syringe … the same type used for injection of medicine on ourselves. We inject an acrylic resin bond,” Fusetti stated.

“Then we eliminate the old patchwork from previous restorations that were badly done or done with plaster. We re-do them using only sand and lime and then we move on to the final phase, the aesthetic one, that is done exclusively with water colours,” he stated.

Consolidating the frescoes is essential in an space like Assisi as a result of of the regularity of earthquakes. Even a minor tremor can result in the detachment of plaster.

The higher basilica, which incorporates Giotto’s most well-known frescoes, was severely broken by an earthquake in 1997. It’s ceiling collapsed, killing 4 folks inside, together with two Franciscan monks.

The Assisi basilica is a spot of pilgrimage not just for the devoted but additionally for artists and art historical past college students, as a result of it comprises about 10,000 sq. metres of frescoes by Giotto and different masters corresponding to Cimabue, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti.

“All of the best who existed at the time are here,” stated Fusetti.

One of the restorers, Sara Panzino, stated she feels a mixture of awe, privilege and duty when she cleans and touches up a Giotto fresco.

“There is a technical side … but on the other hand there is a restorer’s sensitivity, which certainly makes a difference because it is acquired though experience and allows us to return the true nature of a work of art to its historic and artistic heritage,” she stated. “We make the difference.”

(This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)

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