A group of art conservation students from the University of Delaware, in the United States of America, have recently made restoring mosaics from old Sardinia villas their main priority.
The group, made up of fourteen undergraduates and one graduate student, spent the entire month of June working closely with an Italian curator, Roberto Nardi, to restore several mosaics originally found on the floors of Roman-period Sardinia villas, and centring around an image of Greek-legend demon Medusa.
As they dug up the pieces from the Sardinia villas and, with the help of the world-renowned curator, moved them to a working site inside a 13th-century Franciscan convent, the American students kept a blog, where curious parties could become privy to the entire process, and watch as the ancient mosaic was brought back to life.
Also assisting the team in this second part of the restoration was Roberto Cassio, director of the Vatican Museums Restoration Laboratory for Mosaics. An expert in this sort of work, Cassio utilises traditional Roman materials and techniques to achieve maximum faithfulness in his mosaic restorations, and his input was considered invaluable by the students, who carefully detailed his methods to interested blog readers.
During this unique summer, the Americans also had the opportunity to tour Rome, Sardinia, Assisi and Spoleto, meet famous sculptors, and visit conservation labs, where they will have no doubt picked up important information to help them in their future profession of choice.
Associate professor and undergraduate director for the art conservation program Vicki Cassman made an extremely positive assessment of the trip, stating that her students had gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of conservation, and the impact it has on society. She also expressed a desire to repeat the initiative, which was offered for the first time this summer.
For information regarding Sardinia villas, contact Essential Italy at http://www.essentialitaly.co.uk/ or call 01223 460 100.