Restorers at the Scala Santa

The art of conservation is a continuing mission for the Patrons and the example of the Scala Santa restoration is an exciting example.  Dating from 1590, the decorative plan has previously undergone outmoded techniques of conservation.  Our young restorers took a practical lesson from the head of the Vatican Museums scientific lab Prof. Uderico Santamaria in the delicate technique of removing the white lead paint (in Italian called biacca) that becomes black with time.  Using a machine that generates carbonated water, this simple solution is then applied on Japanese paper layers covering the area.  When they are removed, it removes the negative effects.

This photo depicts not only the team (including supervisor Paolo Violini) but also a glorious fresco of the Holy Spirit showing 4 different quadrants of the ceiling’s restoration progress, including the black areas that are now restored to their original splendor.