Report on the course in conservation of architectural heritage

by Daniela Esposito

 
 

The "Course in Conservation of Architectural Heritage: the restoration of the cloister in the monastery of Ss. Quattro Coronati in Rome" has been under way since January 14, 2000. For the past four weeks the lessons have involved surveys on the worksite, visits to other monuments and sites in the Coelian Hill and Lateran area, adjoining the Ss Quattro Coronati complex, and lessons on theory. The course, which commenced with an introductory lesson by Prof. Giovanni Carbonara, has so far covered the basic history of the Santi Quattro Coronati complex outlining the organisational structure of the Coelian Hill area, where the church of the Ss Quattro Coronati and its monastery are situated, both from an archaeological, in particular, topographical, and historical point of view. The surveys and visits within the Santi Quattro complex, the subterranean areas of the Basilica of S. Giovanni and the Basilica of S. Clemente have consequently aroused considerable interest. The students were instructed to carry out stratigraphical readings on some of the masonry remains encountered during their visits, with the aim of developing a method of analysis that is essential for the historico-critical evaluation of ancient buildings. Other lessons discussed the principal architectural phenomena in Rome during the 13th century and painting and mosaic work during the same period. These subjects form part and parcel of the cultural support necessary to be able to interpret the parts that make up the cloister of Ss. Quattro Coronati, the subject under study. With the aim of acquiring further knowledge and defining a methodology for analysing and interpreting the monument, two lessons have been included that deal with the recognition of the architectural work as a historic document and examine the development of the various construction techniques, interpreted from a historico-economical viewpoint, through the study of historical sources. Considerable enthusiasm was also shown during these lessons by the students who asked questions and made pertinent observations despite the decidedly wintry temperatures that accompanied them on some of the visits ! From this point on, the future syllabus, as always alternating between on-site visits and lectures on theory, will examine certain aspects of methodology to be then combined, during the month of March, with lessons of a more specifically technical nature.

 

 









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Fig. 1 - Students of the course in Conservation of Architectural Heritage: the restoration of the cloister in the monastery of Ss. Quattro Coronati in Rome.

 

 

 

 

 

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