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Building materials and degradation phenomena of the Finale Emilia Town Hall (Modena): an archaeometric study for the restoration project after the 2012 earthquake

Stefano Lugli, Marta Caroselli, Simona Marchetti Dori, Vincenzo Vandelli, Gaetano Marzani, Roberto Segattini, Clara Bianchi, Johannes Weber

Abstract


The Town Hall of Finale Emilia (18th century; Modena) is one of the 1600 historical buildings seriously damaged by the seismic crisis that affected the Emilia region of Northern Italy in May 2012 (ML 5.9). FAI, Fondo Ambiente Italiano (Italian National Trust) selected this important building for a complex restoration and structural strengthening project. A nationwide fundraising campaign was immediately launched to bring back to life the symbol of the community so badly struck by the earthquake. The restoration project is now in its executive phase under the scientific supervision of Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici.Among many other diagnostic tools that have been applied to elaborate the restoration project, detailed surveys and petrographic analyses were performed to characterize the ornamental stones, mortars and plasters and their alteration phenomena. In particular, the study of more than 40 samples provided fundamental information to distinguish different building phases. In the first construction phases all the raw materials (lime rock and sand) were taken from the Panaro River, the closest source to the palace. The more recent renovations saw the use of industrial materials coming from the Veneto area and the Po River.


Keywords


mortars; plasters; ornamental stones; decay phenomena; petrographic analyses.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2016PM371



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