Restoring a 15th c. Fresco

Karen’s article on preservation and the visitor experience took me down a rabbit hole of preservation and restoration blog. I ended up on this blog post about the restoration of the 15th c. Theodelinda Chapel Fresco, and it brought up some interesting points in my mind about preservation during emergency situations. A lot of this blog is about the importance of this fresco, but at the end, the author brings up the history of its maintenance. Although the fresco was restored well and often between the 17th and 19th centuries, during WWII, it was protected by sandbags, which increased levels of moisture and salt causing the paint and stucco to crack and flake.

Obviously an unfortunate consequence to a good endeavor, but this made me think about how important it is to have very specific emergency plans in place in museums and house museums. I  know this is something we discussed in our collections class, but hearing about this situation, just made me think about how important it is to have all the staff of a museum knowledgeable of the museum’s preservation plan. It is definitely a huge undertaking, but I know that no matter what job I have at a museum, I want to make sure that I am prepared for any emergency.


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