It ‘was a partial restoration work done to highlight the original paint layer presents in many nineteenth-century repainting; intervention therefore involves only one side of the entire perimeter of the ceiling decorative band.
The building, today the International Conservation Center “Città di Roma” at Akko (San Giovanni d’Acri), has undergone several tampering on both structural and aesthetic aspects.
Originally a private house, in the last 40 years has become the first hostel, abandoned, acquired only recently by the Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority to become the seat of the “School of restoration.”
The entire building consists of an assembly of several parts dating from different historical periods, from cross-walls, the oldest and most subterranean, to the presence of items recently added to the complex as the internal staircase, built only in 1950.
Building materials analysis
Wall structure : Excluding the older walls, from the crusades period, the remaining structure dates back to the UK period and recent.
Globally, the entire walls are composed of regional stone bricks (arenaria) associated to a lime and crushed pottery mortar.
Roof and ceiling : during the last renovations of the building, the roof has been entirely remake. Those work has therefore blocked the continuous infiltration of water caused by the inevitable decay of the old roof.
Decorated cornice : The decorative frame perimeter of the ceiling of the caleidoscope’s room is placed between the ceiling and the wall. Above and below the central band, running along the entire perimeter, two bands of wood concluding the entire decorative frame.
In the decorative central band, under the basic plaster and wood fiber, their are the presence of a preparation layer, probably chalk and glue, smooth and suitable for the subsequent preparation of the paint film.
Decorative band stratigraphy : this part of the decorative frame is divided into three groups each with a different stratigraphy. The first and highest one has four superimpose painted layers: directly on the wood was coated a thick and tough layer of white, similar to Venetian enamel. Then, you find a thin layer of synthetic blue. Between these two seems interpose an additional very thin layer of light blue, this could be part of the latter synthetic blue and does not constitute a real layer. The superficial layer is a white plaster from synthetic origin and recently applied by spray.
The second band, middle one, is made up of two strips having both a total of three paint layers: the first, original, presentes a red upper strip and a green lower one; the following level is the blue previously described, and finally we can find the spraying white plaster.
The third part, the top decorative band, anchored to the bottom panel, shows a complex three paint layers: the first is made up of the original gilding, the second one is a blue spreads throughout the cornice and the final surface is the usual white plaster spray.
The central part of the frame has in its stratigraphy a total of seven layers: the first and thicker one is the structure of the band and is make of gypsum mixed to a wood fiber making it stronger and durable. In a second step was applied a preparation of plaster and glue. Then we observe the presence of a thin layer of the original painting make of a pale green color that acts a basis for subsequent floral decoration. The latter consist the fourth layer of the stratigraphic sequence. With a closer look, we can easily identify the artistic technique: everything suggests a “tempera grassa” and the roses done with a brush. The fifth layer refers to a green color, thick and similar to the previous one in the composition. Then, there is the synthetic blue layer following by the spraying white plaster.
The lower decorative band stratigraphy :
This part of the frame is divided into two groups that differ in their stratigraphy. The first and highest one, a small decoration with two alike protruding strips. The decoration hanging around as a brisk wave has three layers: a first original dark green, then, a synthetic blue and finally, the usual spraying white. Just below, the wooden decoration counts four paint layers : the first, is a compact, sturdy and crimp white. The second layer, thin and light turquoise and the last, a thick blue, same blue as in the upper band.