This intervention is aimed to the restoration of a part of wall painting that covers the indoor walls of the Greek-Orthodoxe Church of Saint-Gabriel in Nazareth.
The XXth century frescoes iconography rappresents the Saints and the Greek-Orthodoxe doctrine’s stories.
The church was built in thelate XVIIth century on the site where stood some older churches. The crypt, located at the north end, was recently restored and houses the spring that feeds a nearby well, according to the greek-orthodox tradition, where the archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary.
The wall paintings are quit recent, dating back from the 70’s and as been excecuted in frescoe technique, and finished by dry touches. A pre-existing draw seems to consists mostly of linear patterns.
So, the aim is to restore the esthetic integrity and a better legibility to the wall paintings of the two lunettes of the N-O corner of the church.
The wall paintings are located, in grand part, on the basement level of the church. So, the intervention was necessary caused by a progressive development of efflorescence of soluble salts. The phenomenon is due mainly to insufficient insulation of the wall with the surrounding ground and by a bad ventilation of the lower part of the masonry.
The soluble salts coming out on the whole height of the wall paintings were probably triggered by several concomitant factors related to water:
– Moisture infiltration from the groud through the wall thickness;
– Capillary rise of water through the foundation;
– Possible infiltration of stormwater caused by an inadequate drainage system;
– The installation of wood paneling covering the lower part of the artifact created a air humidity saturated behind the wall.
It ‘possible that the artist has understood this critical aspect and has opted for the technique of the fresco, a technique that allows the untarnished the porosity of the constituent layers of painted plaster.
The intervention phases realizzed from 11/11/2011 to 22/12/2011
Photographic and graphic documentation
Conservation yard preparation
Dry dusting of salt efflorescence with soft brushes
Removing partial and / or full efflorescences with spatulas and scalpels
Cleaning tests of the white zones left by the efflorescence with deionized water and soft plastic brushes and sponges.
The cleaning phase
Photographic and graphic documentation after cleaning
Fixing plaster’s flakes with acrylic resin through japanese paper of the bottom part of the lunette
Consolidation of minor plaster’s detachment with injections of low concentrations of acrylic resin preceded by an aqueous solution of ethanol and water.
Consolidation of plaster’s detachment from the support or the plaster below with injection’s mortar preceded by a solution of water and alcool.
Filling with natural hydraulic lime and sand of the river in a 1:3 ratio the deeper cracks
Filling the superficial cracks with limewater and marble powder
Fotographic documentation after filling
Retouch by watercolours
Final photographic documentation