Whilst scaffolding is being constructed in the lower hall so that conservators and the public can get up close to the paintings, conservation work has now started in the Upper Hall, addressing the parts which were not completed during phase 1 of the project in 2012 – 2013.
Loan conservator, Francesco Roselini (pictured), has been working from a moveable scaffold tower concentrating, initially, on the walls flanking the great proscenium arch which separates the space from the Lower Hall. As well as the painted surfaces, Francesco has now moved to cleaning and repairing the gilding on the giant capitals (the heads of the flattened columns) either side of the arch.
The beautiful underside of the arch, with its gilded astrological symbols, will most likely be left until the main scaffolding is erected in the Lower Hall in 2017. However, if Francesco makes good progress, and a safe temporary scaffold can be built above the steps, then he may be able to start this work earlier than planned.