Wednesday 30 September 2009

Herculaneum: Conserving and Interpreting the Roman Past - Getty Villa, 24 October 2009

More information has been given on Gionata Rizzi's forthcoming presentation at the Getty, as mentioned in a previous post:

The Roman city of Herculaneum lies at the foot of Vesuvius in southern Italy and was buried by the same volcanic eruption of A.D. 79 that covered Pompeii. However, eruptive processes destroyed the two ancient cities in dissimilar ways, leaving different conservation issues for future generations to face.

In this lecture, architect Gionata Rizzi offers a brief survey of the history of excavation and restoration of the ancient city and highlights some of the unique aspects of the site that impact conservation work. Unlike at Pompeii, organic materials—such as wood structural beams—survive at Herculaneum. Furthermore, the eruption of Vesuvius damaged the lower portions of the wall fabric only, leaving many buildings' upper floors intact. This obliged the conservation campaign in the early 20th century to introduce substantial reconstruction into the Roman fabric.

Rizzi also discusses some of the specific challenges he has dealt with as part of his contribution to the Herculaneum Conservation Project in testing new protective structures and architectural elements at a site where respect for the sense of place is needed to guide decision-making.

Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

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