Sant’Antonio Altar

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - VenICE

Restoration of the inlay pavement of the Altar of Saint’Antonio

The altar is attributed to Baldassarre Longhena and dates back to 1663 ca. The numerous archeological stone findings are a clear explanation of the importance of this Altar. The pavement was in much deteriorated conditions because of the rise of abundant humidity and minerals from the ground.

The conservative state was further compromised by previous improper restoration works. Some marble slabs were placed on a plaster basis, a not recommended material for marble as it is full of sulphate.

70 elements of the pavement have been removed, cleaned in desalinated water and repositioned on a warm colophony base. The colophony base was chosen as it complies perfectly with the traditional Venetian technique. In fact, in old days, natural resin was abundantly imported from the orient; it is hydrophobic and highly adhesive, allowing a perfect isolation of the marble pavement from humidity.