Ultimo aggiornamento 6 July 2023
The Restoration Laboratory carries out direct restoration, training and research activities aimed at studying the evolution of the execution techniques of archival and book artefacts, at defining the state of conservation and the consequent intervention methods and materials. It also works, in collaboration with scientific laboratories, for the creation of solutions and intervention procedures of an experimental nature.
It collaborates with important national and international institutions for the development of materials for conservation, restoration interventions on works of historical/cultural importance and executive complexity, it also deals with training specialized personnel in the international arena.
He collaborates with the Archival and Bibliographic Superintendency of Lazio as technical-scientific support for the control of executive projects.
Hanji paper validation project
Hertziana Library Project (PIC)
Leonardo project, experimentation and restoration Codex on flight and 13 drawings
Large executive projects
Some examples of restoration
Holy Book of Qaraqosh: the volume was reported by the organization FOCSIV Humanity Campaign-Volunteers in the world – active for several years in Kurdistan where, in addition to taking care of people, it carries out an operation for the protection and recovery of cultural heritage. In Italy the volume arrives thanks to the active interest of the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and for Tourism, Dario Franceschini. The manuscript, dated XIV-XV century, had been identified in 2016 by two Italian journalists, reported to the Archbishop of Mosul, Msgr. Yohanna Butros Mouché and then handed over to the FOCSIV volunteers (President Gianfranco Cattai and Dr. Giulia Pigliucci). This manuscript was chosen to become the symbol of the rebirth of a people and the example of redemption against the ‘cultural genocide’ that was being perpetrated in those lands by ISIS. The city of Qaraqosh or Baghdide, as it is called by its inhabitants, was destroyed and its churches had to endure the fury of ISIS representatives who used every means to try to erase them.
The illuminated manuscript is one of the oldest volumes kept in the Church of the Virgin Mary of Qaraqosh and was saved because it was transferred with others to a safe place, a basement in the priests’ house, where it remained throughout the period of ISIS dominance in the area. In the Institute it underwent accurate diagnostic investigations and a complex and meticulous restoration which also involved the use of innovative methods and materials and made use of different professional advice and contributions to respond to the specific conservation needs it presented.
Maimonides, ms. Norsa: it is one of the 28 illuminated copies existing in the world of ‘The Guide for the Perplexed’, some of which are richly decorated but of which only 3 specimens have large-sized miniatures (Paris hebr. 685) and only 2 of them have miniatures relevant to the text (National Bibl. Copenhagen hebr. XXXVII – Sephardic of 1348 and the copy of the Norsa, Askhenazite of 1349). The manuscript restored in the Institute is the only one to have a full-page miniature that fully illustrates the philosophical and theological content of the work. The other full-page miniature in perfect Gothic style introduces the reader to the beginning of the work. The Institute carried out cognitive investigations of all its material components on the work and implemented a specific restoration project that would keep the historical and conservation needs in balance.
Leonardo’s Flight code: the name of the code is due to the subject of the texts and drawings. The drafting of the text seems to date back to the year 1505. In the notebook there are some sanguine drawings made before the text, which in some cases are covered by this, and in others they are left visible by writing along the perimeter of the sketch. The Codex consists of 18 cards; the cover, in rag paste cardboard, presents on the first and back cover annotations of various kinds such as the preparation of the pigments or the shopping list. The complex path of the Code between inheritance, subtractions, transfers, expropriations and sale of individual sheets has allowed us to follow its path, albeit discontinuously, and to tackle the conservation intervention in full respect of the historicization of all its components material.
Papyrus of Artemidorus: the history of this famous papyrus brings together the controversy over the authenticity of the document. This was sold in 2004 by the Egyptian art dealer Serop Simonian, a gallery owner of Armenian origin who moved to Hamburg, to the Fondazione per l’Arte e la Cultura of the Compagnia San Paolo in Turin. It is not the Institute’s task to enter into the question of the authenticity or otherwise of the artifact but certainly the entire intervention, scientific and conservative, represented a challenge both for the complexity of the intervention and for its future valorisation (see Cecilia Hausmann, Artemidoro , a case study).
The restoration work carried out on the Artemidorus Papyrus represented a unique opportunity to study the papyrus material, to compare it with conservation methods used in the past and to enhance this type of artefact.
When it comes to intervening on objects of such complexity (historical and material) the multidisciplinary approach is essential for achieving a better result, the data provided by scientific investigations have allowed us to investigate the matter in depth, bringing to light new questions, the discussion with historians/papyrologists has allowed for a better understanding of the historical events concerning the papyrus, as well as the identification of details that are difficult to identify; while the comparison between restorers has allowed the identification of the most suitable methodologies for this case study.
Pop-up volume ‘Astrology’ by Ottavio Pisani: the Atlantic format volume, kept in the Casanatense Library in Rome, printed in Antwerp (Antwerp) in 1613, is still being restored. It is a pop-up work that shows the mobile devices useful for astrological and astronomical research. The copy under restoration is one of two existing in Italy (the other, colored, is found in Florence in the library of the Galileo Galilei Museum) and represents a new field of interest for the Institute which for the first time tackles a volume with these features. Between volvellae and pointers we move to find the most suitable system to intervene on delicate mobile devices and make them work again. The restoration of this specimen was included in the Pop-Up Conference organized by the Tancredi di Barolo Foundation in Turin for the end of February 2020 and then moved to a later date due to the coronavirus problem.
Bad Arolsen-ITS (International Tracing Service) project: in October 2015, following contacts between Icpal and ITS, an inspection was carried out in Bad Arolsen in the German headquarters of the Nazi Archives which gave to the collaboration project between the two institutions. On that occasion, folders and registers representative of the problems present in the German Archives were subjected to an initial analysis, so that a small amount of documentation could be selected for analysis in the Institute. The aim of the project was to examine the various material aspects that make up the selected documentation, exemplifying the one kept in Bad Arolsen, to propose, if necessary, any conservation treatments different from those to which the documents are subjected in Germany or to verify the correctness and the effectiveness of the products and procedures performed and, finally, to intervene with the necessary restorations in a work program entitled “A restoration project”.
The Bad Arolsen Archive preserves 30 million individual documents, including microfilms, films and about 2800 personal objects of the inmates and represents the tangible memory of what happened in the concentration camps during the Nazi period.