The restoration of the apse vault

Parish Church of St. Martin



The vault of the apse of the parish church of St. Martin was in poor condition either due to the infiltration of rainwater resulting in the formation of salts, particularly on the left side of the second under arch ,or due to heavy traces of paint applied in the early years of the twentieth century (central rosette) and 60s (white paint and soffits in geometric figures).

The restoration - performed by the restorer Katia Zanetti from May to November 2011 - had the merit of bringing to light the quadratures and the delicate paintings that existed in 1786, which probably decorated the entire building.
This intervention had involved a number of professionals who first proceeded to cautiously remove, with the aid of a scalpel, the white synthetic paint applied in 1960. This brought to light the plight of the early twentieth century renovation method which compromised the central apse and parts of the eighteenth century decorations .
After the initial cleaning and the removal of the fillings in the vault of the apse, the painting representation of God the Father and some paintings which had been repainted in the 1930s using mostly gypsum -based paints were revealed. The removal of the latter took place using aqueous systems in solution and with ion exchange resins in order to prevent water penetrating the decorated surface by bringing the particles of gypsum to the surface, which once dry, would have caused irreversible bleaching. This phase of work was carried out carefully and with extreme caution. The work was divided into small areas so as not to leave any traces of residue, and finally the whole vault was cleaned with deionised water compresses .

The frescoes depicting two bishops , located on either side dell'invetriata center dedicated to St. Martin , were completely covered by a heavy layer of plaster and repainted in a somewhat coarser than the original underlying that during this restoration are again visible .
The repainting were also present on parts of the representations of the four Evangelists at the ends of the two sub-arches . The whole thing was also weighed down by a thin layer of compacted dirt surface .
Finally, we proceeded to the filling of the missing parts of plaster and touch-up painting of gaps of small and large units returning the color of the entire work that can now be admired in all its grace and elegance.

This important restoration site was made possible thanks to the determination of the parish priest, Fr Eraldo De Agostini , of the many supporters who individually have wanted to "adopt" a small portion of the restoration , the Community Foundation of the VCO and the CRT Foundation.
Given the importance of our findings would no doubt be desirable to continue the restoration as a diagnostics performed on various parts of the interior leaves widely presage further interesting finds.