"ECOValors" - A new phase for the "MANN in Colors" project

 "MANN in Colors", is a research project established in 2018 to study the polychromy of masterpieces of Classical sculpture at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (MANN).

After three successful years, including staggering findings from important pieces of sculpture such as the famous, “Venus in a bikini” statuette and the "Venus marina" from Pompeii (pictured), the project will now enter a new two-year phase, via a prestigious collaboration that will unite the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Department of Chemical Sciences and Technologies of the University of Rome "Tor Vergata".

This phase of the project entitled, "ECOValors" (Eco-Sustainable project for Conservation and Valorization of colour traces on Marble sculptures), will take as its point of departure the analytical results obtained by Cristiana Barandoni (creator and scientific curator of the "MANN in Colors" project) and Andrea Rossi (responsible for the diagnostic investigations). The team from the University of Rome, which uses sustainable methodologies, or “Green Chemistry”, for its investigations into issues such as, air quality and pollutants, in relation to cultural heritage, will participate in the creation of a protocol for the conservation and protection of works on whose surfaces traces of colour have been discovered. It is hoped that the creation and dissemination of such a protocol will help institutions worldwide to safeguard the remains of polychromy on their sculpture from environmental effects, for the enjoyment of future generations.

Added: 29/03/2021

The "Venus in a bikini" (left): recent investigations have shown green pigments present on the tree trunk. The dress of the goddess was also originally embellished with rose madder (right), Egyptian blue and gold.

Image © Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (MANN).

The "Venus Marina" (left): the statue was irradiated with ultraviolet light and the resulting pink luminescence (right) is an unequivocal sign of the ancient use of rose madder.

Image © Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (MANN).

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