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Environmental decay of ancient stucco decorations subject to outdoor exposure



Title: Environmental decay of ancient stucco decorations subject to outdoor exposure
Author(s): F. Sandrolini, E. Franzoni, E. Sassoni
Paper category : conference
Book title: 2nd Conference on Historic Mortars - HMC 2010 and RILEM TC 203-RHM final workshop
Editor(s): J. Válek, C. Groot and J.J. Hughes
Print-ISBN: None
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-112-4
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 701 - 709
Total Pages: 9
Nb references: 11
Language: English


Abstract: Neoclassical "stucco" decorations were added in 1840 to the 14th century church of San Francesco in Fano (Italy) in order to decorate its interior, but, as a consequence of the roof demolition in 1930, they have been exposed to outdoor conditions for almost 80 years. In view of a possible restoration work without reconstruction of the roof, this study aims to assess the vulnerability of the stucco decorations, by characterizing the constituting materials, identifying the degradation mechanisms and evaluating the stucco’s conservation state. Firstly, an analysis of microclimatic and air quality data of the surroundings of the church was performed to evaluate the environmental aggressiveness and the possible degradation causes. Then the stuccoes were characterized in order to evaluate their articulation in multiple layers, to identify their mineralogical composition and possible presence of organic additives, to determine their pore size distribution and to assess their conservation state. In spite of their gypsum nature, the relatively good conservation state of the stuccoes seems to be ascribable to the finishing layers, realized with the addition of lime (giving calcite, less soluble than gypsum) and/or worked to reduce porosity, so that stucco decorations designed for sheltered conditions proved to be partially resistant to outdoor environment.


Online publication: 2010-10-25
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00