STATE OF PRESERVATION
The two sculptures presented similar types of degradation in different stages of severity. One of them presented a very poor state of conservation, not only superficial but also structural. In particular, deep horizontal fractures were detectable in the thickness of the legs and in the portion modeled vertically to support the central body of the sculpture, as well as important detached and broken pieces of the sculpture. In both works the effects of degradation were in close relation to the location in an external environment and to the dimensions and to the typology of the material with which they were made: traces of previous restoration interventions resulting in visible grouting along old cracks; biological attack of mosses and lichens; accumulation of varying thickness and poor consistency and adherence of foreign materials of various kinds, such as fine dust, various kinds of pollutants, bird droppings and dirt, which diffusely affect the surface; disintegration and erosion of stone material characterized by flaking, exfoliation and swelling, mainly caused by phenomena of frosting and thawing, and water infiltration.
The intervention had as objective not only the aesthetic recovery of the work, but in particular for the most degraded sculpture, its structural consolidation, given the risk of spontaneous breakage if stressed by particularly aggressive atmospheric environmental factors. For this reason it was necessary to secure the work in order to avoid accidental or vandalic collisions that could jeopardize the stability of the statue. A fence made of tubes and joints with mesh net and a sheet metal covering was constructed along with the application of a support structure with tubes and joints covered with foam rubber and placed under the belly and the paws.
For both we proceeded with a work of pre-consolidation, the securing of all the flakes, fragments or fractures of the stone parts, prior to cleaning operations of the areas with particular decohesion. The parts at risk of falling were secured and blocked through micro piling in thin fiberglass pins and epoxy resin, in order to proceed with the restoration work in complete safety.