Another Restoration Project Completed And the Meaning of Advent through art

Dear Patrons and Friends,

As we keep waiting for Christmas to come we would like to share with you the beautiful result of yet another restoration project funded by your generosity. Your support means so much to us and to the Vatican Museums and there are still so many projects waiting for your help, that is why we will bring up to your attention a pick from our Wishbook 2021, a focus driven by our last Insiders Course episode on the mysteries of Etruscan Art.



Before restoration

After restoration

The relief dates back to the I century B.C., the ancient part is in Pentelic marble integrated with various inserts in Luna marble made by F.A. Franzoni in 1790 and perfectly inserted in the original.

The violet color is evidence of the non-original elements.

On the whole relief, both on the ancient portion and on the more recent one, there was a coherent layer of deposit, and some splashes of coloring attributable to the painting of the walls. Along the perimeter there were residues of pozzolanic mortar; overflowing rosin was visible on some inserts.

At the end of the restoration, the relief was treated with a protective coating in order to preserve it fromconsequences of atmospheric events.

Amphora, Kylix, Kantharos, and Pelike

Our Wishbook is still full of projects ready to be adopted, that is why from now on we will shed a light on those artworks that are still in need of your care and attention. We start with four Etruscan vases brilliantly manufactured, all dated around 500 B.C.

This restoration concerns four figured vases painted in Athens and imported to Etruria. The vases were in Etruscan tombs from the ancient Etruscan city of Vulci, discovered in the 1830s. This group of vases concludes with a Kantharos, which is from a group called the London Class. It is shaped like a double female head and decorated at the top with a frieze of palmettes, datable to 510-500 B.C. (see the photo above).


These works have undergone restoration in the past. As a consequence, there were structural problems from the lack of cohesion of the surfaces. Additionally, the old modifications altered the chromaticity.


The intervention will include the cleaning and removal of some integrations performed in the past. The mending of cracks and fissures. The recomposition with original parts, the conservative restoration and touching up of the missing parts, and the final protection.



The Meaning of Advent through art

“The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.”


Pope Francis recalled how the birth of Jesus has inspired generations of artists throughout history to evangelize through beauty. Each week until Christmas our e-parcels will feature a piece of art from the Vatican collections along with wise words from the Popes.

Around Jesus’ crib the Angels sing peace. And those who believed the heavenly message and honored Him were filled with glory and joy. As it was then, so it will be throughout the ages. The story of Jesus is evergreen. Blessed is the one who understands and finds in Him grace, strength, and blessing.(Pope St. John XXIII – Christmas Homily, 1962)



Is Insiders Course for me?

Our Insiders Course is for anyone who would like to learn more about Vatican Museums’ extraordinary collection and its secrets. A journey accompanied by curators and restorers inside the heart of a unique place. No prior experience or knowledge is required.


How do I enroll?

To register for the Insiders Course please click here.



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