Phase III

The elements below were part of the final study and analysis report. Efforts are currently taking place to secure the necessary funds to carry out these works along with the rest of the Stone facades.

The top priority was given to the restoration of the stone facades at the two corners and the lateral naves so as to avoid any damage to the lead roofing under construction. The restoration work included cleaning works, the replacement of sealing cement with lime and also the replacement of some severely eroded and deteriorated stone pieces. This work was completed in October, 2014; while the rest of the stone facades restoration works had been put in pending in order to employ the available funds at that time to execute other priority tasks inside the Basilica.

 

However, since September, 2016, the Presidential Committee resumed the restoration works of the stone facades and the priority was given to the main Church Façade (the western façade) which was completed in January, 2017. The Northern façade was also completed by the end of March 2017. Currently the Eastern and Southern façades are under restoration and expected to be completed by the end of August, 2017 after which the Basilica all stone facades will be restored.

 

The plastered surfaces were affected by an incoherent and partially coherent, superficial deposit of atmospheric particulate also due to the redeposit of the material carried by the percolation of rainwater coming from the roof, on which it was possible to see the leakages.

Other principal deterioration morphologies are the complete detachment of one or more plaster layers or of the whole plastering layers. In addition a phenomenon of salt efflorescence was detected.

The restoration works on plaster started in June 2014 with the thermographic survey for all walls which was made to detect any hidden wall mosaic under the plaster layers. Then a comprehensive evaluation of the existing plastering layers was made to prepare the mapping and the shop drawings for the restoration works, which included the consolidation of the existing plastering layers, replacing the cement patches with a lime plastering and filling the damaged or missing parts of the plastering layers. The plastering restoration work for the whole Basilica was completed in September, 2016.

The existing mosaic surface is uniformly covered by an incoherent, or partially coherent, deposit of atmospheric particulate due to the deposit of the material carried by the percolation of rainwater coming from the roof. The detachment of the preparatory layers is the most severe and widespread morphology of damage, involving all mosaic surfaces.

 

The restoration works on the wall mosaic started in March 2015; a group of specialists started the survey of the wall mosaic in the nave and performed preliminary evaluations and tests. During the survey, a new fragment of angel on the north wall between the fourth and the fifth window was discovered. The mosaic restoration in the nave was completed by January, 2016, whereas the wall mosaic  in the transepts was completed in June, 2016.

Trabeation is located above the capitals of the columns and under the walls separating the two aisles, both on the North and South side and along the whole aisles, and also at the walls separating the Transept and the Apse from the two Corners, both on the North and South side. Considering their position, such architraves play an important structural role, because of the role it plays in tightening the above masonry arches as well as the below stone columns. They also have a great value because of the inlaid works still visible nowadays. Sophisticated analyses prove that they date back to the VI century. The diagnostic survey done in December, 2015 confirmed and evidenced three decay problems in the architraves: one located in the North side and the other two in the South side. The restoration works included replacement of the deteriorated inner wooden beams at the three said architraves, removal of the coherent and incoherent deposits, filling of the lacunas, protecting and retouching the surfaces for all the Architraves. These works were completed in October, 2016.