TECHNOLOGICAL ANSWERS
TO RESTORATION

The growing need to preserve our cultural heritage is causing a rise in the demand for increasingly accurate cleaning techniques, featuring high selectivity and low impact.

CASI DI STUDIO

CHAPEL OF THE MANTLE

CHAPEL OF THE MANTLE OF CHRISTOPHER BY BINDOCCIO AND MEO DI PERO, OLD SACRISTY BY LORENZO VECCHIETTA - SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA (SIENA)     

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Opera di Santa Maria della Scala (SI),  Soprintendenza BSAE  per le provincie di Siena e Grosseto

RESTORER:  Anna Brunetto

HISTORY:

The Old Sacristy and the Chapel of the Mantle are two painted halls within the complex of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. One of the oldest European hospitals opened about 1000 years ago and functioning until 70 years ago, Santa Maria della Scala has been gradually turned into a museum. The walls and the vaults of the Old Sacristy were painted by Lorenzo Vecchietta between 1446 and 1449 with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The paintings were coated with layers of whitewashing applied in the past. Used as first-aid room, the Chapel of the Mantle shows three spans divided into groin vaults painted by Cristoforo di Bindoccio and Meo di Pero in 1370. Again, in the past the paintings had been almost completely covered with layers of lime and paint whitewashing.

LASER CLEANING METHODOLOGY

When the traditional chemical and manual techniques proved unsuccessful, restorers thought about the groundbreaking use of lasers. Preliminary tests were carried out with a Short Free Running system (Eos 1000) and the Long Q-switching one (Eos 1000 LQS). These two intermediate-impulse systems proved extremely effective and safe compared to short-pulse Q switch lasers; used together or one by one, they resulted in the successful removal of the whitewashing, revealing the frescoes resting underneath.

ADOPTED SYSTEM