The Basilica of St. Francis is an important church in Arezzo, famous for the cycle of frescoes by Piero della Francesca which adorn the chapel of the high altar. They tell the story of the true cross.
The Basilica is historically the second church dedicated to St Francis in Arezzo. The first was outside the walls and was large to house the Great Franciscan Cross and a painting on wood of the Maestà by Guido da Siena. The first church was destroyed for defence reasons, so the Franciscan community of Arezzo asked if the replacement church could be built within the walls in 1290. The Maestà was moved to the new church but later it was moved again, this time in 1863, to be exhibited in a museum. The name of the architect of the church is to be found among the disciples of Friar Elia da Cortona, written on a fourteenth century plan drawn on parchment, one Fra Giovanni da Pistoia.
In the fourteenth century, a pious woman named Monna Tessa left three hundred lire to pay for cladding the façade. The work was started, but the money was insufficient and very little cladding was placed. It has remained as then to this day as a testimony of her good will.
PHASES OF RESTORATiON
Vacuum cleaning to remove sediment. Application of anti-mold products and fungicides with compresses and by brush. Protective velinatura with Japanese paper and animal glue. Dismantling of the sections in wood. Consolidating treatment with biocide, applying the consolidating resin (Paraloid).
Restucturing parts in wood with insertions of seasoned wood. Application of iron staples to the purlins to stabilize the supporting wooden structure. Mounting of metal collars between the chain and the strut. Inserting screws to secure the chain to the shelf. Replacing the wooden sections that make up the triangular polychrome panels.