AP PHOTOS: ‘Preventive conservation’ at Venetian palace

Dec 17, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: Dec 18, 2022, 3:25 am
External view of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Pa...

External view of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

(AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

              Restorers Annalisa Tosatto, right, and Alice Chiodelli work at the conservation and study of ' The reward and a pair of putti', a 1590 painting by Venetian Renaissance artist Andrea Michieli known as Andrea Vicentino in a makeshift laboratory set up in the Venetian Doge's private chapel inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The 93x330 centimeters (approximately 36.6x130 inches) canvas was adorning the Grimani's Hall in the Doge's apartments of Palazzo Ducale. In the background Jacopo Sansovino's marble statue 'Madonna with child and angels'(1536-37). (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Romana Albini maps the decay of Jacopo D'Andrea's 1863 copy of Paolo Veronese's oil on canvas 'Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts at the Vices' in the Consiglio dei Dieci Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The painting was confiscated by the art commissars of Napoleon Bonaparte and removed to Paris in 1797. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Romana Albini works, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in the Consiglio dei Dieci Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, on the gilded carved wooden ceiling surrounding Jacopo D'Andrea's 1863 copy of Paolo Veronese's oil on canvas 'Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts at the Vices', confiscated by the art commissars of Napoleon Bonaparte and removed to Paris in 1797. 
 (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Romana Albini works, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in the Consiglio dei Dieci Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, on the gilded carved wooden ceiling surrounding Jacopo D'Andrea's 1863 copy of Paolo Veronese's oil on canvas 'Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts at the Vices', confiscated by the art commissars of Napoleon Bonaparte and removed to Paris in 1797. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon inspects the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Architect Arianna Abbate, left, is interviewed by The Associated Press on a scaffolding used to inspect the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon inspects the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon inspects the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon maps signs of decay on the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon maps signs of decay on the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon stands on a scaffolding to inspect the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Architect Arianna Abbate shows signs of decay on the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon inspects the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              Restorer Alberto Marcon inspects the 7,45x24,65-meter oil on canvas 'Il Paradiso' completed in 1592 by Venetian painters Jacopo Robusti, also known as Tintoretto, and his son Domenico in the Maggior Consiglio Hall inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            
              External view of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. The Doge's Palace, the heart of the political life of the Venetian Republic for centuries, is undergoing a major reconnaissance of its conservation status by the Fondazione Musei Civici of the municipality of Venice that includes the urgent restoration of its paintings and infrastructures, which is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
            Restorers Annalisa Tosatto, bottom, and Alice Chiodelli work at the conservation and study of ' The reward and a pair of putti', a 1590 painting by Venetian Renaissance artist Andrea Michieli known as Andrea Vicentino in a makeshift laboratory set up in the Venetian Doge's private chapel inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The 93x330 centimeters (approximately 36.6x130 inches) canvas was adorning the Grimani's Hall in the Doge's apartments of Palazzo Ducale. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis) Restorers Annalisa Tosatto and Alice Chiodelli, right, work at the conservation and study of ' The reward and a pair of putti', a 1590 painting by Venetian Renaissance artist Andrea Michieli known as Andrea Vicentino in a makeshift laboratory set up in the Venetian Doge's private chapel inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The 93x330 centimeters (approximately 36.6x130 inches) canvas was adorning the Grimani's Hall in the Doge's apartments of Palazzo Ducale. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis) Restorers Annalisa Tosatto, top, and Alice Chiodelli work at the conservation and study of ' The reward and a pair of putti', a 1590 painting by Venetian Renaissance artist Andrea Michieli known as Andrea Vicentino in a makeshift laboratory set up in the Venetian Doge's private chapel inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The 93x330 centimeters (approximately 36.6x130 inches) canvas was adorning the Grimani's Hall in the Doge's apartments of Palazzo Ducale. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis) Restorers Annalisa Tosatto, right, and Alice Chiodelli work at the conservation and study of ' The reward and a pair of putti', a 1590 painting by Venetian Renaissance artist Andrea Michieli known as Andrea Vicentino in a makeshift laboratory set up in the Venetian Doge's private chapel inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The 93x330 centimeters (approximately 36.6x130 inches) canvas was adorning the Grimani's Hall in the Doge's apartments of Palazzo Ducale. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis) Restorer Alice Chiodelli works at the conservation and study of ' The reward and a pair of putti', a 1590 painting by Venetian Renaissance artist Andrea Michieli known as Andrea Vicentino in a makeshift laboratory set up in the Venetian Doge's private chapel inside Palazzo Ducale in Venice, northern Italy, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The 93x330 centimeters (approximately 36.6x130 inches) canvas was adorning the Grimani's Hall in the Doge's apartments of Palazzo Ducale. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Art restorers in Venice are conducting an ambitious monitoring project to analyze and intervene early on precious artworks and elaborate ornamentation at a landmark Venetian palace that was at the heart of political life in the powerful maritime Republic of Venice.

The project at the Doge’s Palace, handled by the Fondazione Musei Civici of Venice, began in June and will last roughly 14 months as restorers examine every centimeter of the surfaces of the palace — known as Palazzo Ducale — which contains some of the world’s most magnificent artworks, including paintings by Tintoretto and Titian.

The Italian government has provided 500,000 euros in funding for the project.

Using mobile scaffolding, so they can work on small portions at a time and leave the space open to visitors, restorers climb back and forth every day up a series of ladders to the ceilings where their tools include soft brushes and syringes.

In the Chamber of the Great Council, one of the largest paintings in the world, Tintoretto’s “Il Paradiso” at roughly 150 square meters (1,600 square feet), restorer Alberto Marcon is mapping out the surface centimeter by centimeter (inch by inch) noting the decayed parts that will require intervention or restoration.

The information will later go into a database that will help the team decide not only where they need to intervene with small operations or where a larger conservation effort is required, but also to monitor the artwork’s conservation status over time.

On the other side of the chamber, another restorer works on an elaborate frieze around the ceiling, dusting off the painting, looking for peeling paint and decay. In the nearby Hall of Ten, a restorer is carefully injecting glue into the gold-painted wooden ornamentation to protect it from decay.

Director of the Project, architect Arianna Abbate, explains that a project that makes art monitoring a top priority, giving it considerable time and funds, is almost unheard of. Such “preventive conservation” might be “the new frontier of conservation,” she says as she stands on the scaffolding next to “Il Paradiso.”

Abbate says their primary work is visual and tactile, but it also includes monitoring with magneto-material, endoscopic, photographic and multi-spectral techniques.

In some cases, the decay is so severe that they need to intervene immediately, so the team has set up a temporary studio in the Doge’s private chapel where restorers can work on the individual paintings.

Once the entire job is complete, other groups, such as the U.S. nonprofit Save Venice, will step in to help fund further restoration deemed necessary.

The humidity and saltwater in Venice, a 1,600-year-old city built on a lagoon with its ancient palaces connected by a canals, is particularly hard on architecture and artworks. The Doge’s Palace is located at the edge of St. Mark’s Square facing the lagoon with a canal running down the side.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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AP PHOTOS: ‘Preventive conservation’ at Venetian palace