Two holy water fonts (dated at the beginning of the XVII century) in the Santa Maria della Steccata Church in Parma (Italy) have recently been restored. Before the intervention, a detailed investigation on their degradation products was carried out to understand the mechanisms of alteration of the materials and to suggest appropriate restoration procedures.The analyses were performed by means of powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), micro-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and micro-Raman spectroscopies. Calcite, iron oxides, silicates and sodium chloride (from salted holy water) were found in the red coloured calcarenite. On and under the lead coverings, different lead oxides (mainly massicot), other lead salts (lead basic carbonate, cerussite, plumbonacrite Pb10O(OH)6(CO3)6 and lead–chlorine compounds as laurionite PbOHCl and phosgenite Pb2CO3Cl2) were identified by Raman spectroscopy and XRD. Haematite α-Fe2O3, goethite α- FeO(OH) and lepidocrocite γ-FeO(OH) were found on and around the iron hinges. Lead compounds and sodium chloride, through crystallization and solubilization cycles, were responsible for the stone's degradation, whereas the iron corrosion materials on the hinges produced mechanical stress and cracks in the stone.Various suggestions have been given on how to restore these fonts and to remove the causes of damage.
Spectroscopic study of the degradation products in the holy water fonts in Santa Maria della Steccata Church in Parma (Italy) / D. BERSANI; E. CAMPANI; CASOLI A.; P.P. LOTTICI; I.-G. MARINO. - In: ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA. - ISSN 0003-2670. - 610/1(2008), pp. 74-79. [10.1016/j.aca.2008.01.041]
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