The maintenance project of the restoration of the wall carvings started in March 2015 and completed in August 2017 on the initiative of The St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation. It consisted mainly of consolidation on the most deteriorated areas, with the aim of stabilising the conservation conditions of the gilded and coloured embellishments within the Cathedral, avoiding further deterioration.
The areas treated were the painted and gilded surfaces on the inner pilasters of all the chapels. The rising damp and salts caused the detachment and de-cohesion of the gold and the colours from the stone. Moreover, the deposits of dust and air pollution caused the loss of the brilliance of the gold, making them dull and grey. The losses in the gilding were reintegrated using the same gold leaf as the original technique and all the surfaces were cleaned to remove possible deposits. Furthermore, the type of binder using an oil-based medium proved to be the best one for the inner micro climate of the church in order to ensure the longevity of the gilding.
Maintenance treatments, carried out under the direction of the Foundation’s curator Cynthia de Giorgio and the conservator Adriana Alescio, are planned to be carried out frequently to avoid deterioration over the years and preserve the decorations.