The building had damage related to the earthquake that in 2012 hit areas of central Italy. In particular the external and internal surfaces were weakened by numerous hairline cracks, some of them superficial, and more serious cracking in the brick work. Besides damage related to the earthquake, a closer study of the decorative elements ( the statue of the “Madonna Immacolata”, projecting cornices, balconies, ornate plasterwork and pinnacles) showed deterioration caused by retrograde methods of maintenance and restoration work done in the past.
Four stone pinnacles sited at the top of the roof of the clock tower showed clear signs of scaling phenomena and detachment of small pieces. Two of the pinnacles also showed large cracks in the top section where it connects with the iron pin that serves as a decorative element. The surfaces were also affected by a thick layer of deposits of various kinds. A serious safety hazard was represented in the amount of decorated plaster elements present on the outer surface of the tower. They had previously been restored and a lintel in lime mortar had been created to prevent them slipping. This was beginning to disintegrate and loose its protective function. Rain, wind, frost and contrasting temperature changes had further aggravated the state of conservation of plasterwork much of which was almost completely detached from the masonry supporting it.
Even the statue of the “Madonna Immacolata” with cherubs made of mortar and terra cotta, was in an extremely compromised state of conservation. The worst damage was concentrated in the projecting parts which are more exposed to the elements. The crowning floral frame of the statue had many cracks and whole sections of decorative plasterwork were detached. The statue and the cherubs were damaged, with serious fractures and parts in the process of falling off. Other decorative elements in stone such as frames, shelves, eaves and balconies, situated on different levels of the building, showed cracks, and disintegration that represented not only a threat to the conservation of the property, but also a danger of falling and causing injury to passers by.
Description of actions taken:
– Recovery of stone elements on the summit.
– Restoration of ornate plasterwork
– Recovery of stucco sections.