A team of professional restorers tracks every phase of the project for the renovation of works of art and other items, from on-site inspection to assess their condition, to the creation of a programme of intervention for preemptive conservation, followed by maintenance and restoration proper. Restoration includes such major operations as cleaning and consolidation along both conservation and completion lines, right up to the reinstallation of the restored work.
Exploratory inspections on original materials, when required, are also corroborated by external consultancy from qualified analysis laboratories.
The workshop is equipped with appropriate, innovative plant and equipment. A machine for anoxic desinfestation allows the workshop to independently address the first major phase required to make a work safe. A nitrogen generator allows our technicians to produce, control and maintain a modified atmosphere in special containers in which contaminated items are placed.
Interventions are complemented by rich photographic documentation illustrating analytical technical conservation factsheets, digital documents, graphic surveys and in-depth intervention reports. Targeted photography avails itself of an automatic lifting system that permits the vertical extension of even large-scale textile items, with the added option of producing transmitted light, sidelight and UV photographs.
Our washing structure, one of the largest in Europe, can handle items up to 48 square metres in size and is particularly suitable for cleaning tapestries. Comprising an integrated plant combining aerosol with continuous aspiration of the cleaning liquid, it also allows our technicians, whenever necessary, to immerse the fabric in a more traditional bath. The chief benefit is that all the phases in the process (imbibition, detergent solution application, rinsing and drying) take place over the entire surface at the same time, therefore evenly and in a relatively short time, without ever having to move the item, thus avoiding dangerous moments of potential stress.
Conservative restoration for all types of textile items is designed to structurally consolidate the item with the needle-driven application of textile supports, this operation being performed both on seriously deteriorated tapestries and on costumes, fabrics and upholstery.
In the case of tapestries, completion restoration is also crucial. This involves the structural repair of the cloth either through reweaving “in colour”, with enormous benefits also from a visual standpoint, or through the application of the “chromatic selection” method for missing portions.
We frequently restore items ahead of their more or less immediate display in temporary exhibitions, so they also require being made safe. The interventions we adopt to achieve this are also designed to pave the way for future, more in-depth conservation.
“DYEING” TO RESTORE
The dyeing workshop is equipped to colour yarns and fabrics for use in the consolidation of items undergoing restoration. We use synthetic dyes of proven solidity for our dyeing, adopting a method developed and perfected by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. The workshop also conducts other forms of inspection: using stereoscopic and digital microscopes we can observe and record initial data regarding both the item’s original constituent materials and the presence of any extraneous residue. Our relationship with external specialist laboratories also allows us to deepen our exploratory investigations regarding the materials involved.
Our workshops are situated within a single 800 square metre building fitted with a volumetric alarm system linked to a private security agency. Our vehicles are also fitted with GPS satellite control systems. These features mean that procedures for arranging insurance cover for the works of art that we restore are both streamlined and rapid.
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