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Piran, Tartini monument

Avtor: mag. Nina Žbona, Wednesday 10.08.2016

Creating a conservation plan

In May 2016, upon the request of the Municipality of Piran, we created a conservation plan for all the integral elements of the Tartini monument in Piran. Due to the specific problems and exceptional value of the monument, a larger group of experts from various areas of science and art collaborated in the preparation of the conservation plan. When documenting the initial condition and preparing a programme, we took into consideration all modern international guidelines regarding the preservation of bronze and stone outdoor monuments. We placed particular emphasis on the planning of the project’s preliminary phases. 

Sampling corrosion products for spectroscopic analysis and to review the statue’s stability
and cracks using an endoscopic camera. 

Survey results

Upon closer inspection, the Venetian sculptor Dal Zotto’s masterpiece revealed not only the outstanding artistic and technological details, but unfortunately also the damage and numerous changes that time has left on its surface. 

The surface of the bronze monument has a black-brown patina with a green patina undertone due to the effects of the marine environment and the presence of chloride ions.

Changes and damage to the bronze occur as a result of bronze’s composition, the technology used to create the sculpture, vandalism and atmospheric factors. Numerous expert studies have indicated that environmental changes with their specific macro and microclimatic conditions significantly effect the deterioration process of bronze outdoor monuments.

The most significant damage that could affect the constructional stability and integrity of the sculpture are the individual cracks that are present in several places (on the back of the right leg, the bottom right part of the coat, etc.). 

The current state of the statue is nevertheless not so critical as to require immediate intervention and removal from its location, but the numerous cracks and other changes and damage to the surface do cause the accelerated deterioration of material. Long-term direct exposure to all the negative environmental factors will inevitably lead to the loss of many details, which represents invaluable damage to such a piece of art. With the implementation of all the necessary conservation and restoration undertakings, and in particular the planned and regular monitoring, as well as maintenance work carried out, we are able to preserve all the exceptional details of this bronze masterpiece.

Very oxidised iron spacers, especially those on the back and left arm of the sculpture require immediate replacement.




Further undertakings

We temporarily replaced the bow for the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the monument’s erection.

The IPCHS Restoration centre gave an exact inventory of work and a cost evaluation of the conservation and restoration undertakings. Below Figure (1) We temporarily replaced the bow for the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the monument’s erection. The reconstruction of the bow was made by fine art sculptor Mirko Bratuša, although, unfortunately, the original is no longer preserved. Upon the comprehensive renovation of the monument, a comparative study of Baroque bows will also be created, as we can assume the violinist used them. In September 2016, the IPCHS Restoration Centre is planning to make a 3D scan of the monument as well as conservation and restoration undertakings to the stone sections and wrought iron fence. The aforementioned undertakings will be directly accessible for public viewing together with explanations of IPCHS experts.

Mag. Nina Žbona, head of the stone department, IPCHS Restoration Centre

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