|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Sunday, December 17, 2017
|Ambitious Vatican restoration of the statue-topped colonnade that cradles St. Peter's Square moves ahead |
Restorer Alessio Tagnani works on the statue of Santa Costanza in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Restoration is slowly but steadily proceeding on a Vatican project so ambitious it has been likened to the decades-long cleaning up of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. But cleaning the statue-topped colonnade, which cradles St. Peter's Square like an inviting embrace, should take far less time. Begun in 2009, restoration to clean the columns and to ensure fragments don't fall on visitors below is expected to last three more years. Guy Devreux, who directs the Vatican's workshop for marble and limestone structures, told The Associated Press that time-frame includes restoration of the square's two fountains and Egyptian obelisk. AP Photo/Trisha Thomas.
By: Trisha Thomas, Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP).- An ambitious project to clean the statue-topped colonnade that cradles St. Peter's Square is likely to last at least three more years, the director of the Vatican restoration says.
The work on Gian Lorenzo Bernini's columns began in 2009, after some two years of preliminary studies, and it is proceeding in sections so the square can still be used for Vatican events, including papal appearances.
Guy Devreux, who directs the Vatican's workshop for marble and limestone structures, spoke to The Associated Press during a tour that included a close-up look from atop scaffolding.
He said the work, which also involves cleaning two fountains and Egyptian obelisk, is arranged so the square is always accessible to tourists who flock year-round and especially as Easter approaches.
The tradition of outdoor papal audiences, like the crowded one Benedict XVI led in the square on Wednesday, continues without interruption.
Being restored are 140 statues and 284 columns. Bernini's colonnade is a double one, with an inner row and outer row, with each one consisting of two side-by-side columns.
The first task was removing any fragment that seemed at risk of detaching, Devreux said.
Restorer Alessio Tagnani said the work involves first removing any algae, lichen and moss that has formed on the stone over time.
Cleaning can involve mechanical methods, such as a hammer and a scalpel, abrasive-acting micro-sanders, or the gentle application of chemicals with a compress.
"For a restorer in a laboratory like mine in the Vatican Museums, this is a master's work," Devreux said. "Not just because it is monumental but because it was created by Bernini itself."
He estimated it will take at least three more years to complete the project, and he compared it to another project at the Vatican.
"You could say it is like our Sistine Chapel," the hall frescoed by Michelangelo that is part of the Museums tour and the gathering place to elect popes, he said.
Restoration in the 1980s and 1990s of the Sistine Chapel, including its fabled frescoed ceiling, took decades and was heavily criticized by some who were startled by the vivid hues that emerged from under five centuries of grime, dust and candle smoke.
Pope Alexander VII gave the colonnade commission to Bernini, master of Baroque architecture in Rome in the 17th century who also did the canopy sculpture over the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica.
The colonnade's construction helped provide employment for many people as Rome was emerging from a plague epidemic, Devreux said. "For this reason, he wanted to fix up the square, giving work to many people who in that period were jobless."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
March 18, 2012
"Culture of Sensuality" at Schiller Museum reveals a view of Weimar Classicism
NGA images, a new collection image resource, and open access policy launched by National Gallery of Art
Rare Marilyn Monroe photos, letters, telegrams and a money clip to be sold at Julien's Auctions
Did Washington Monument sink or tilt from quake? Government surveyors trying to find out
Ambitious Vatican restoration of the statue-topped colonnade that cradles St. Peter's Square moves ahead
New Morgan exhibition explores the relationship between animals and the artistic imagination
Under pressure from phone hacking scandal, James Murdoch leaving board of Sotheby's
United States Art Critics Association announces annual awards to honor artists, curators, museums, galleries
Important books, atlases, and manuscripts: Christie's to offer the library of Kenneth Nebenzahl
Egyptomania reveals the West's enduring romance with Egypt and its dramatic influence on decorative arts
Metamorphosis of Japan after the War: Photography 1945-1964 on view at Berlin's Museum for Photography
Pace Gallery exhibition explores the influence of myths and archetypes of Abstract Expressionism
Masterpieces to celebrate a special occasion: TEFAF Maastricht's silver jubilee
Munier painting, Russian porcelain and Jewelry to highlight Grogan's March auction
Berlin Holocaust memorial undergoing repairs
Jimmy Robert conceives an exhibition at Jeu de Paume that inhabits language as a non-place
Titanic museums to mark anniversary of sinking
New York based artist, writer, and Director of Behavior Michael Portnoy exhibits at Ibid Projects
New York City's Anne Frank Center opens in new location
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- A petition decries 'suggestive' painting at New York's Met
2.- Leonardo Da Vinci sold for $450 million is headed to Louvre Abu Dhabi: Official
3.- Desperately seeking this Frida Kahlo painting. Last seen in Poland
4.- Lubaina Himid becomes oldest winner of United Kingdom's Turner Prize
5.- Two Gustav Klimt masterpieces on loan to the National Gallery of Canada
6.- Frick makes its most significant painting purchase in nearly 30 years
7.- Met Opera suspends Levine after sex abuse allegations
8.- Louvre launches appeal to acquire King François I's Book of Hours
9.- Smart-Guard, a new way to pack, ship and store fine art
10.- Save Venice Inc. restores Titian's Madonna di Ca' Pesaro
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.