The Vatican Museums, supervised by around 36 specialists, safeguard a diverse collection of cultural treasures, including renowned masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel frescoes, over 5,300 oil paintings, and invaluable wooden statues. Recently, a meticulous restoration effort focused on a Moretto painting unfolded, involving precise steps like installing a new frame, addressing humidity-induced deformations, removing aged varnishes, and enhancing both the painting and its detailed external frame. Marking its centennial milestone, this specialized restoration facility, one of eight in the museums, exclusively welcomed esteemed news organizations to showcase its vital role in preserving our artistic legacy.

This formal gesture granted select news organizations rare access to witness firsthand the profound commitment of this restoration lab to the preservation of our cultural legacy. Francesca Persegati, the lab’s director, highlighted the enduring evolution of restoration techniques, often necessitating the rectification of previous inadequacies by less experienced artisans. Emphasizing values of reverence and humility toward the original artwork, Persegati underscored the imperative need for an in-depth scientific understanding of artistic materials. Prior to restoration work, exhaustive examinations utilizing non-invasive methodologies like ultraviolet and infrared scans meticulously scrutinize for potential alterations or concealed sketches. This concerted effort, aligned with the centenary commemoration, unveiled QR codes positioned adjacent to 37 selected artworks, offering visitors an opportunity for deeper insight into the restoration process with the intent of demystifying and enriching appreciation for the assiduous labor devoted to conserving these priceless artistic treasures.