Convento S. Nicola, Belmonte in Sabina, Rieti, Italy; Alghero, Sassari
Type of Intervention: 
Documentation, study, consolidation, cleaning and relaying on new supports of the fragments of painted plaster, marble and stucco.
Comune di Alghero, Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle province di Sassari e Nuoro
Scientific Direction: 
Arch. Patrizia Tomassetti, Dott. ssa Daniela Rovina
Technical Direction: 
Roberto Nardi and Andreina Costanzi Cobau

The Roman villa of Sant’Imbenia is located in the bay of Porto Conte, close to the town of Alghero, in the province of Sassari, Sardinia. The archaeological complex was partially excavated in 1994-2005, unearthing important finds relating to wall and floor decorations of two rooms of the villa.

The project Conservation and museum display of painted wall plaster and apse fragments, stone elements and stuccoes from the Roman Villa in Sant’Imbenia began in 2011 and was concluded in 2014.

Starting from the contents of almost 230 crates, full of a mix of plaster, stucco and marble fragments, on the basis of information derived from various excavation campaigns and through direct observation of in situ structures, a strategy was developed with the precise objective of displaying as many of the finds as possible in the civic archaeological museum of Alghero, Museo della Città, in order to allow the public to understand life at the Villa, as well as the characteristic architectural and decorative typologies.

The chosen methodology was a treatment based on detailed documentation of the materials and operations, on the use of compatible and fully reversible materials, and on canonized conservation techniques.
We operated on these premises to create an opus sectile floor and a series of figurative stucco panels, a section of marble wall veneer, coherent with the opus sectile, and a frescoed, paneled ceiling composed of flat rectangles and rhombi alternating with cupola elements.
This has allowed to recreate a decorative unit within a rich and complex space, today on display in the Museo della Città, Alghero.

The entire three-year long project included the following operations: cleaning, consolidation, search for joins, assemblage, reconstruction, mountmaking, final fills, the use of technology for display and the creation of interpretative panels.