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Panthers – Cascine Park

Period of the monument: Beginning of XX century

Supervision: Superintendence of Florence

Place: Viale dell’Aeronatica, Cascine Park, Florence

Year of restoration: 2019

Category of works: OS2-A

Client: Municipality of Florence

Work performed: cleaning consolidation and stone restoration


The work in question is a sculpture made of pietra serena (sandstone) representing a lionine figure placed on a parallelepiped-shaped pedestal, about 1.20 m high. Under the belly of the leonine figure there is a stone support imitation of a rock. From a first inspection the sculpture seems to have been created directly with the stone support, subsequently placed and anchored on its pedestal



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.





Panthers, Cascine Park, Florence
  • Demolition of incongruous posts (if found) with small chisels and other suitable tools and with the utmost caution so as not to damage the surrounding stone material.
  • Chemical and mechanical cleaning operations for the removal of dust and incoherent deposits by means of brushes and small vacuum cleaners with adjustable suction and soft brushes. Removal of biological traces, mosses and lichens, removal of black crusts in the areas surrounding the washed parts with localized packs of water and ammonium carbonate and sea sponges properly soaked in deionized water.
  • Cohesive consolidation through brush impregnation or low-pressure vaporization of a mixture of silicic acid esters.
  • Adhesive consolidation with the insertion of the consolidating agent through the injection of mortar in special drilled microholes. In the points where there are portions of stone that tend to detach from the rest of the structure pivoting will be done with glass resin or threaded stainless steel rods.
  • Grouting to fill the gaps and discontinuities present on the surface of the stone, suitable to unify the surfaces and offer adequate resistance to the agents of degradation. Also in cases of exfoliation, micro-cracks and splintering, micro-stuccoing must be carried out to prevent or slow down the access of rainwater and/or the absorption of atmospheric humidity inside the degraded stone. In both cases, a mortar based on natural hydraulic lime was used.
  • Reconstruction and ornate tessellation, in particular for the most damaged statue. The integration of the missing parts was carried out by means of tessellation in mortar or stone material. All reconstructions were harmonized with the conservative condition of the original neighbouring parts.
  • Chromatic balancing of the integrated parts with oxides and natural soils diluted in water and applied by brush, in order to chromatically match them with the original surface.
  • Final protective treatment with the purpose of slowing down the degradation thanks to the application of microcrystalline waxes after the application of a suitable anti-stain base product.