Pompeii, House of the Faun columns restored

Seriously damaged by a bombing in 1943

14 January, 16:21

    (ANSAmed) - POMPEII, JANUARY 14 - The four columns of the House of the Faun, one of the most luxurious villas in ancient Pompeii, have been restored and now adorn the tetrastyle atrium that provided access to the private area of the house. A long operation with modern materials and techniques preceded the reinstallation of the four columns in their original setting, after they had been removed for care by archaeologists and restorers. A group of academics and technicians worked on the project with cleaning, biocide treatment, stucco, consolidation, and finally, protection of the four special artifacts. In their nearly 2,000 years of life, the columns have endured all the adversities of history. During a bombing in 1943, two bombs fell in the tetrastyle atrium of the House of the Faun, which extends an entire block for nearly 3,000 square metres, and razed three of the four Corinthian tuff columns decorated with stucco. Only the column facing the north remained intact.

    Other damage was caused by the 1980 earthquake. Restorers rebuilt the columns immediately after the two destructive events, but the methods and materials used at the time eventually revealed their flaws, resulting in fractures and fragmentation. Prior to the recent restoration, one of the columns was being propped up with pipes, metal joints, and wooden poles to support and preserve all the fragmented parts, which had partially or completely detached, while the other columns had rather advanced deterioration problems. Massimo Osanna, director general ad interim of the Pompeii archaeological park, said the work was important and had been anticipated for years. "It allows for giving back another area of this precious residence for public use. It was a complex consolidation operation, which aimed to resolve the restoration of the columns in a radical way, but also a qualification and aesthetic recovery operation, achieved by standardizing and integrating the restoration materials," Osanna said.(ANSAmed).


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