It was concluded in autumn 201o, the restoration of the Portal of the Chiesa dei Carmini in Venice performed by students of the course for Assistant Conservator dell’IVBC, with the participation of some students from the University of Applied Sciences of Italian Switzerland. The restoration was followed by the restorer Edvige Ancilotto in accordance with the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici di Venezia e Laguna. The work was possible thanks to UNESCO and the Swiss Committee for the Safeguarding of Venice.
The restoration subject were the seventeenth-century central portal of the Church placed in the main facade and two side windows from the nineteenth century.
The main materials that make up the portal and the windows are stone Istrian and red Verona limestone type cut into slabs that make up the band immediately above the inscription“INDULGENZA PLENARIA OGNI GIORNO” (plenary indulgence every day).
The degradation’s phenomenons of the materials being restored, were mainly:
Coherent and incoherent deposits
Biodeteriogens attacks, especially on the main floor marking and lateral
Guano deposits and the remains of nesting, especially behind the Madonna’s statue
Stains from oxidation of iron and copper, on the face of the Madonna and Child and flat windows
Delamination and discontinus cohesion of materials
Fragmentation of material at the base of the pilasters of the side windows, in front of the statue and the red limestone
Cracks due to decohesion of old fillings
In a previous intervention had been applied a layer of mortar, containing cement, on the pavements of central and upper steps in which were inserted pieces of colored glass to block the access to the pigeons.
Through our observation we noted a quality difference between the Istrian stone portal and that of the statue of the Madonna and child, placed in a niche.
Once the graphic and photographic documentation done, the intervention began with a stability check up of materials and the safety of the pieces.
We passed then to the biodeteriogens treatment with a product suitable for green algae and some species of lichens.
The following phase, prior to cleaning, was the mechanical reduction of the black crusts. The first compress have been made using basic solution of ammonium carbonate spported by the micronized silica. A last step to refine the cleaning, where the black crusts and deposits had already been removed, was performed by using cationic ion exchange resins.
Numerous nails and other metal elements, used to support decorative components, has been removed from the entire surface of the portal.
We proceed then with a series of microfillings made of epoxy resin loaded with quartzite superventilated, later covered with a superficial filling matching color with the Istrian stone. We did that operation to close the dangerous cracks that should cause a stone decay.
After removing the layer of cement mortar placed on the step we proceed, in accordance with the Superintendence, to the replacement of the anchoring stirrup between the architectural element in the middle and the lateral ones with two new stainless steel stirrups.
The pink limestone band has been treated on surface a with a siloxane-type product to give a final protection and a lightweight water-repellent capacity.
A 2011 publication, by Emmanuela Zucchetta, treating of the Chiesa dei Carmini’s Portal and its restoration.