This Dashing Dacian Prince has Been Fully Restored!

With work beginning in 2012, we are happy to say that this colossal statue of a defeated prince has been fully restored and is ready for display. The statue was part of a decorative scheme used to adorn the great Trajan Forum inaugurated by the Emperor in 113 AD. The impressive piece depicts a Dace prince dressed in a long tunic – arms crossed in front of his body in a attitude associated with prisoners. The sculpture is made of pavonazzetto – a white marble extracted from purple veins in the quarries of ancient Phrygia, in the heart of Turkey.  These pavonazzetto sculptures were larger than those in white marble, thus they were possibly placed on the top of the decorated arcade.

How do you restore a prince?

A Deep Wash:

The process of restoration was extensive and took meticulous effort. Primarily, cleaning of surface deposits were accomplished using  compresses of deionized water. This brought out the real sheen of the purple veined marble.

Keeping his integrity – with lasers!:

During the restoration, a light coating applied in ancient times was discovered that probably balanced the stone material’s integration. Restorers Dr. Giandomenico Spinola and Dr. Claudia Valeri decided to respect this and with laser cleaning were able to approximate the original look of the statue.

No such thing as a small surgery:

Parts of the piece had to be dismantled in order to finish the job. A steel pin from the 1800s that held part of the cloak in place was replaced and his nose had to be removed to care for the wax-resin that had anchored it in ancient times.

Finally the fingers:

In the end, the original parts of the fingers were repositioned and adhered with plaster colored to match the statue using watercolors.

Though not yet on display because of finishing touches on the pedestal – prepare to see the Dacian Prince in all his glorious defeat very soon in the halls of the museum.

Before Restoration

Before Restoration

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During Restoration

After Restoration

After Restoration

 

 

 

 

 

 

APLAR 5 Conference: Lasers and Art Restoration

Brochure from APLAR event giving details on the technology being used.The APLAR  5 Conference, which occurred September 18-20th, demonstrated  the further  role advanced lasers can play in the world of art restoration. Special thanks to our California, D.C., and Florida Chapters for their help in securing laser technology for the Vatican that is the envy of the museum community.  For more on the conference or to apply for abstracts see their website here.

See the full brochure here.

Vatican Tech to Help Restore Egyptian Artworks

Lasers always make us think of futuristic vistas – a time of self aware robots and a galaxy far far away. However, the lasers that are employed at the Vatican are used to illuminate the past – that is, to restore great works of art. These precise instruments can clear sediment more carefully than any human hand and make sure there is no residual damage to the artwork.


{More on Lasers in Art Conservation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/05/lasers-art-conservation-duke-university-professor-discovery_n_3550087.html}


Though the Vatican has used lasers in restoration for a while now, new and more modern technologies keep coming to us. The patrons have been instrumental in the acquisition of this kind of tech for use in our work. For example, this past year, the Washington D.C. Chapter secured an ArtLight II laser and it has already been put to use in our important work restoring the Scala Santa at the Chapel of San Lorenzo.

These kinds of cutting-edge systems are coveted by museums around the world and therefore, many other centers of art and culture have requested partnerships with the Vatican for the purpose of using our lasers for their own projects. For example, in mid-October, the Egyptian Museum in Turin will bring masterpieces here to be restored.


(How are they buried? Another collaboration with the Egyptian Museum regarding ancient coffin research: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1300235.htm http://www.vatican-patrons.org/vatican-coffin-research-project-923 )


 

Not only does this mean beautifying these important works, but has the added benefit of allowing our patrons access to pieces from far flung places that they might not otherwise be able to visit.

Keep an eye out for more information on what will be available to see from the Egyptian Museum and the process of their restoration. Other viable partnerships with elite institutions mean more access to spectacularly restored artwork from around the world – all brought to you with the power of lasers.

Department of the Vatican Museums, the Diagnostic Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration of the Vatican Museums, restorer Giovanna Prestipino, wood expert Victoria Asensi Amoros, and the Musées de France (C2RMF) are  collaborated with the Department of Egyptian Antiquities of the Louvre Museum in Paris for their Vatican Coffin Research Project

Department of the Vatican Museums, the Diagnostic Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration of the Vatican Museums, restorer Giovanna Prestipino, wood expert Victoria Asensi Amoros, and the Musées de France (C2RMF) are collaborated with the Department of Egyptian Antiquities of the Louvre Museum in Paris for their Vatican Coffin Research Project