Restoration work on the Museum's Mary Magdalene statue by Angelo Marini has started. The statue, which dates back to the XVI century, shows signs of degradation of its marble surface due to its being exposed to the elements on the Cathedral's exterior over centuries.
Removed from the Cathedral in the 1940s, it shows weather-related damage, including the disintegration of its marble surface and, in the areas where it was not affected by rain run-off, the build-up of black incrustations.
The restoration process started with the mechanical removal of surface dust that had settled on the entire statue. At the moment, the initial stage in under way, which consists in applying Japanese paper soaked in a solution of ammonium carbonate to its surface, in a mix that is appropriate for Candoglia marble. In the most damaged areas, where persistent black incrustations are visible, a poultice containing an ammonium carbonate solution has been applied. Once it is removed, the area will be carefully rinsed to eliminate any residues of the substances applied.
These steps enable the removal of surface dirt layers, with the exception of black incrustations that remain in the deepest folds of the modelling. The removal of this latter type of damage will be more time-consuming and requires other techniques than those used at the moment.
With this restoration, the Grande Museo del Duomo fulfils - this time, exceptionally, in its exhibition area - one of its key roles: the maintenance and the restoration of the works it preserves.