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PIETRO MELANDRI'S MODELS OF THE VATICAN MUSEUMS ENTRANCE
Pietro Melandri was a famous Italian painter, decorator, designer and ceramist, student of the School of Arts and Crafts of Faenza. In 1921 his ceramics were displayed at the Biennale in Rome and lately, in 1925, at the L’Expo des Arts Decoratives in Paris. In the 1930s he also collaborated with the papal architect and engineer Giovanni Momo for the structural renovation of the Vatican Museum. Melandri continued to work until his death in Faenza in 1976.
These two plasters models, created by PietroMelandri, represent the Main Entrance of the Vatican Museums, whichwas renovated by the papal architect and engineer Giuseppe Momo by will of Pope Pius XI at the beginningof 1930s. At present, these are in poor condition, due to the dust that has accumulated on the surface. Many fractures and and micro fractures are visible over the entire surface, and several small fragments have peeled off. The back of the models have been eroded from rust and woodworms.
A preliminary analysis, performed by the Doctor Marta Giommi, has ascertained the need of a restoration to preserve the beauty of these two wonderful models. The restoration process includes dust removal, anoxic treatment against woodworms, integration of the fissures on the surface, cleaning and consolidation of the surface on front and back, recreation of a chromatic balance on the entire surface, consolidation and repair of areas flanking off, overall application of protective layer and a photographic documentation. At the end the models will be positioned, in a permanent exposition, at the base of Mariani’s scale, near the exit of the Vatican Museum, in order to highlight their inestimable value for the history of the Vatican Museum.
From left, Guy Devreux , Marta Giommi – restorer and Prof. Antonio Paolucci.