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Otranto's Cathedral

Consolidation and restoration of the Bell's Tower outer stony surfaces

  • Client:
    Archdiocese of Otranto
  • Year:
    2006
  • Type:
    restoration
  • Status:
    finished work
  • Team:
    archt. Fernando Russo
  • Location:
    Otranto (LE) - Italy
 
The restoration work was carried out gradually depending on the degradation’s gravity state and was conducted avoiding overly radical cleanup operations, in order not to damage the natural patina of aging.
In the parts of the smooth facing on which there are most tenacious blackening and black layers we have planned the treatment either with spraying of deionized water atomized or with compresses based on paper pulp and distilled water. All the cracks in facing wall, if minor, will have to be filled with mortar, whereas, near to the larger ones we’ll carry out a work of stitching and unstitching, that consists in replacing the broken stony elements with others of similar size and well joined with those nearest. 
These operations have also been plained if the tufaceous material is strongly degraded by phenomena of alveolate deformations.
We have also planned  the pointing of all stony ashlars if the lying mortar manifests a particular situation of inconsistency and degradation.
On the southern front, in spite of the various interventions on masonry facing with plasters, there was along the entire wall a rising moisture that was caused by the nature of the tufaceous support and by the saddled ground which favours the passage of moisture for climbing back up also on interior facing of the nave.
The project includes the realization along its entire perimeter of a room air vented that will prevent the direct contact between the green soil with its vertical structures. 
The covering of the cavity wall was carried out in limestone slabs of the same type and design that are recognizabile in the courtyard.
For the drainage of rainwater and their removal we have planned the restoration of the stone gutters, the equipment of staging box and new rain water pipes in copper, with cast iron terminals on the eastern side. (translated by Irene Bonifacino)