Opening cultural heritage to communities during the central-Italy post-earthquake restoration process. Digital technologies and new competencies for cultural professionals.

OPHERA project aims to reveal, as a cultural expression, the cultural heritage restoration process currently on-going in the territories affected by Central-Italy 2016 earthquake. The dissemination events will be the result of a first phase dedicated to the capacity building of a multi-disciplinary cultural operators team, which will include members of local communities and delegates of private and public stakeholders.

Plan 1

On May 2022, the Ophera project will allow the restoration site to be opened to the public in order to understand, through guided tours, the complex recovery process of the structure. SEE THE AGENDA


  • Segretariato Regionale del Ministero della Cultura per le Marche – Italy
  • University of Minho – Portugal
  • Cyprus University of Technology- Digital Heritage Research Laboratory – Cyprus
  • University of Ferrara – Italy
  • University of Ljubljana – Slovenia

Complesso di Sant’Agostino, chiesa e monastero – Pieve Torina (Mc), Italia.

Built in the 15th century, it was transformed into its present form during the 18th century, when it became the seat of the Augustinian monks. Remained the seat of the order until 1867, it was then abandoned. In recent times, the beautiful Museum of our land has found its place here. Then the earthquakes of 26 and 30 October 2016 caused part of the facade of the church to collapse, leaving widespread lesions in the load-bearing walls and roof. However, the complex remained stable and this allowed the designers to define interventions for the maintenance of the existing structures. The works currently in progress, carried out thanks to the Municipality of Pieve Torina and the EXUP s.r.l. and SPC s.r.l., will lead to the seismic improvement of the structure and the recovery of the destroyed parts. One of the most notable interventions concerns the floor of an entire floor which had been heavily damaged by the earthquake and now rebuilt in local stone.

On May 28, 2022, the Ophera project will allow the restoration site to be opened to the public in order to understand, through guided tours, the complex recovery process of the structure.

Collegiata Santa Maria e Palazzo dei Priori –Visso (Mc), Italia.

The Ophera project has selected two sites in the historic center of Visso that have undergone restoration work: the Collegiata Santa Maria and the Palazzo dei Priori. The first complex stands on an ancient 12th century parish church, subsequently undergoing enlargements between the 13th and 14th centuries. The building was severely damaged by the earthquake of 30 October 2016 which caused large cracks, collapses and damage to the wall structures. The apse and the bell tower were heavily damaged, with the complete collapse of the rose window. The first interventions, coordinated by the Archdiocese of Camerino – San Severino Marche, aimed at making the structure safe, in order to avoid further damage and intervening on the facade of the building, on the vaults of the baptistery, on the dome of the apse and on the bell tower. The Ministry of Culture has recently completed other interventions aimed at restoring the fire and anti-intrusion systems, the safety of the frescoes, the blocking of rainwater infiltrations from the roof and the application of a digital vibration monitoring system on the structure. The Collegiate Church preserves an important collection of frescoes, including the Assumption, located inside, and others in the lunette of the main facade by Paolo da Visso. Also stand out are the frescoes in the niche, works by Giovanni di Pietro known as “lo Spagna”, and the cycle of Giottesque frescoes located in the apse, which were widely damaged by the tremors of 30 October. On February 7, 2017, the MiC technicians and the Fire Brigade removed and secured several works, including the fresco of Lo Spagna. The safety interventions already carried out have been designed by Eng. Carlo Morosi and made by the company AR Alessandrini Nello S.r.l. Currently, on behalf of the Archdiocese of Camerino-San Severino Marche, the ArchLivIng technicians are preparing the overall restoration project. The first challenges concerned the intervention strategies on the severely damaged wooden ceiling, in order to allow safe access to the roof of the collegiate church.
The second site chosen is Palazzo dei Priori, seat of the Municipality of Visso. The original nucleus dates back to between 1255 and 1270, but was already modified in 1325 according to the Gothic trends of the period. Destroyed by a fire in the infighting of 1477, it was rebuilt in its present form by the architect Bartolomeo da Camerino. The tremors caused serious internal injuries, the collapse of part of the external walls of the second floor, portions of the roof and the bell sail on the main facade. The urgent safety measures carried out in 2017 by the Fire Brigade and coordinated by Arch. Pierluigi Salvati of SABAP Marche, managed to protect the wonderful fresco of the Madonna Enthroned with Child by Paolo da Visso dated to 1482 and remained miraculously intact and for which, after careful analysis, it was decided not to proceed with the detachment but to intervene with a protective structure. Part of the pre-existing rigid roof, overhanging the council chamber, was removed and replaced by a temporary cover. The operation was technically very complex and was carried out by Carlo Usai on behalf of the Central Institute of Restoration. An equally complex challenge was also the definition of a second safety intervention, preparatory to the overall restoration of the building and whose executive project was recently completed by the EIG Ingegneria of Muccia, on behalf of the MiC Secretariat for the Marche. First of all, the technicians prepared an in-depth awareness campaign of the materials and structures, carried out by Latema S.r.l. to then provide for the shoring of the vaults and damaged floors, the safety of the perimeter walls using prefabricated tie rods and scaffolding, the disassembly of the crumbling walls and the existing concrete roof with replacement of a temporary cover to prevent further damage due to rain and snow.

VISIT On May 29, thanks to the Ophera project, not only will it be possible for everyone to know the details of the restorations planned for the two sites, but it will be a moment of meeting and celebration for the whole population who will be able, after years, to regain awareness of the progressive recovery of the damaged cultural heritage.

Monte San Martino (Mc), Italia.

The Ophera project has chosen the site of Monte San Martino as a historic village in its entirety. In this beautiful village the restoration activities are involving several buildings of historical and artistic interest damaged by the earthquake of 2016. In particular, the project wanted to highlight two specific buildings, certainly identifying the community of Monte San Martino: the Palazzetto Urbani and Campili house. The first, owned by the municipality, was built in the fourteenth century with various changes over the centuries. Casa Campili, on the other hand, represents a typical example of 14th century popular architecture within the historic settlement. The building adapts to the slope of the hill towards the south and the shape is organically inserted in the surrounding volumes and alleys.
The interventions at Palazzetto Urbani, intended for social housing, have recently been completed under the guidance of Eng. Michele Tarulli. In the design phase, however, the interventions for the Campili house provide for the seismic improvement and the increase of the living comfort of the interior spaces. Both buildings will be partially destined for economic-residential construction.

VISIT – On 29 May 2022 the construction sites will be open to the public with enhancement initiatives throughout the village and the involvement of the public of all ages.

Palazzo Saladini di RovetinoAscoli Piceno (Ap), Italia.

The Saladini family has been present in Ascoli since 1301 when they assumed citizenship, dividing over the centuries into various branches, including that of the current Saladini family of Rovetino. The result of a gradual annexation of buildings that took place during the 17th century from an original nucleus of two houses located in the S. Agostino district of Ascoli, the commissioning of the pictorial decoration of the Gallery of mirrors, by Biagio Miniera (1697-1755), is attributed to Count Tommaso di Horatius Saladini or, more likely, to his grandfather Marianus. On the vault, mythological themes are reproduced with allegorical references to the qualities of the client such as Mars on the chariot with lions, and Juno seated on her throne, who probably commissioned the work for the wedding between Count Tommaso Saladini and Maria Augustina by Anton Philippus Sgariglia in 1719. The walls also present a complex iconology taken from the writing of Cesare Ripa, which is accompanied by the nine muses who once crowned mirrors with rich gilded frames. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the frescoes were hidden with counter walls, a false ceiling and internal partitions, the recent removal of which highlighted the deep marks on the painting. The project, carried out under the supervision of Dr. Pierluigi Moriconi and the architect Domenico Cardamone of the MiC and with the interest of the superintendent arch. Carlo Birrozzi, began with a careful survey by the restorer Sonia Stipa of the damage suffered by the decorations over time. Furthermore, the seismic activities of 2016 further damaged the decorated surface with large pass-through lesions due, in large part, to the sensitive rotation of the external west wall. The cracks, even very serious ones, are evident in the corners and the cracks have caused detachments, lifting and falling of the painted plaster. The pictorial restoration operations envisaged are aimed at stopping the degradation in progressive evolution and restoring the conditions suitable for their correct conservation over time with possible local removal of repainting until the emergence of the original colors.

VISIT On 11 June 2022, thanks to the Ophera project, it will be possible to access the building and admire the frescoes in the Mirror Gallery and learn about all the safety and restoration interventions.

Castel di Luco, Acquasanta Terme (Ap), Italia

The castle is a perfect synthesis between environment and man, between natural and worked rock; in fact it rests on a small travertine relief from which it takes its characteristic circular shape. The first attestation is in an edict of Pope Leo IX of 1052 to then pass into the possession of the noble Ciucci family from Ascoli in the second half of the fourteenth century, becoming then by inheritance the possession of the Amici family at the end of the eighteenth century, which transformed it into refined accommodation facility. One of the main characteristics of Castel di Luco is its ring shape, particularly suitable for defense. It appears to be made up of a series of aggregated buildings, all made of blocks of local travertine. Internally it has lost its original military aspect and instead looks like a comfortable noble residence. The earthquake of August 2016 hit the structure hard, causing detachments between walls and vaults to which damage was added to the internal pictorial apparatus. The restoration is directed by the architect Valerio Borzacchini and the works carried out by the Deltalavori company. The consolidation interventions involved the walls, vaults and floors. The seismic improvement of the walls was obtained by inserting steel wire nets in the joints to increase the mechanical characteristics of the structure.

VISIT – On 12 June 2022 it will be possible to visit the castle accompanied by the owner and by those who designed and worked on its restoration. At the same time, in collaboration with the municipality of Acquasanta Terme and local associations, it will also be possible to participate in guided tours in the nearby village of Paggese and villa Cagnano and participate in workshops dedicated to the transformation and artistic processing of travertine.

information, proposals and comments, contact the project staff c/o Segretariato Regionale MiC per le Marche

Arch. Giovanni Issini : giovanni.issini@beniculturali.it – Tel. +39.3283178144
Dott.ssa Sara Trotta : sara.trotta@beniculturali.it – Tel. +39.07150294253
Dr. Maurizio Bilò : maurizio.bilo@beniculturali.it – Tel. 07150294259

Web site: www.ophera.beniculturali.it
Facebook @progettoopheramibact—Ophera Project MiC
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Sito web: www.ophera.beniculturali.it

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