Here the work was concerned with the facade of the building, situated in Piazza Cavour in the historical centre of Bologna, dating back to the 1930s and designed by the architect Muggia.
The principal challenge which presented itself was the loss of the visible surface texture of the architectural and decorative elements in cement mortar, which originally would have shown a mock stone finish and now concealed under a series of synthetic renders which formed a compact skin on the surfaces, preventing a clear reading and limiting its ability to breathe. Therefore the work was focused on the careful removal of the outer layers utilising a technique which combined manual mechanical precision instruments preceded by a suitable preliminary phase of physical cleaning with organic solvent gels, enabling an effective removal of the paintwork which had been carried out on it and thereby safeguarding the surfaces of the original mock stone front. Another significant aspect of the spirit in which this type of work was undertaken, was the choice of materials to use in order to bring moulded pieces back to life and to reconstitute incomplete or missing sculptural elements: utilising traditional methods of setting them in place, such as the use of templates for cornices and the contours of objects, or the creation of moulds, and mortar mixes were tested – expressly created ad hoc by the restorers – and made up of Roman cement and select inert gases.
14 April 2017