Issues Related to the Restoration of Mirrors of the Wooden paliotto della chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso all’Albergheria, Sicily (Italy)

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Aria Amato; Elena Arizio; Salvatore Cataldo; Emilio Francesco Orsega; Nicola Muratore; Mauro Sebastianelli;


Studies in Conservation, Routledge, Volume 63, Number 4, p.194-200 (2018)


In this work, the decision-making process involved in the restoration of the eighteenth century paliotto ligneo (wooden altar frontal) della chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso all’Albergheria of Palermo is presented. Earlier research concerning mirror restoration was based on only a few case studies and the proposed techniques were not suitable for the artwork here. As a consequence, it was necessary to re-examine theories and protocols of modern restoration to plan an appropriate intervention of the altar frontal. Since in this artwork the role of mirrors is not to give back images, as usual, but rather to create special light effects and play of lights, this work aims to find an approach to the restoration of the altar frontal and its decorations that allows a homogeneous overview of the piece. Thus, the mirrors were not substituted or re-created. Only a visual integration of the damaged ancient mirrors was proposed, with the use of metallic-polymeric films, permitting a completely reversible restoration.