Fountain Restoration

August 3, 2009 / Art & Archaeology
fourriverrestoration1A monumental fountain, and possibly one of the most iconic and visited ones at that, under restoration work for 24 months!? Sometime you just have to wonder… what were they thinking?

Maybe elsewhere someone would have figured that 24 restauratori (restoration specialist/art historians) armed with their toothbrushes for one month would cost the same as one restauratore for 24 months, but be infinitely quicker.

fourriverrestoration2But no, that thought obviously didn’t come to mind. What probably did was “Well, it’s been there for centuries. So in the larger scheme of things what’s two years? Better to take it easy, get it right. After all, we wouldn’t want folks in 2250 referring to the famous, horribly botched restoration job of 2007-2009.”

Fine, understood. And they’re probably right. This travertine stone masterpiece by Bernini at the center of Piazza Navona once again simply glows, perhaps for the first time since it was unveiled in 1651.

But you still can’t help but think… not even a bigger toothbrush!?

Many thanks to Mike Minadeo (restoration photos), and Joe Hennessy (final photo).



by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

8 Responses to “Fountain Restoration”

  1. Well, thank you to however many meticulous workers there were. It was wonderful to see it again, in all its glory, earlier this year. Peeking in through the scaffolds last year wasn’t the same.

  2. Can’t wait to go back to Rome and see the fountain. I was there last September and the scaffolding wasn’t pretty! Thanks for the update…just love the “Italian Notebook!”

  3. Valerie

    One of the first Italian phrases I learned was “Piano, piano” – for good reason! The finished work was worth the wait; I couldn’t believe how positively gleaming the original stone is!

  4. I remember seeing it under scaffolding. So glad the restoration is completed in time for my visit to Rome in November! Beautiful work!

  5. Ken Borelli

    Well as they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, so logically, restorations will take a couple of days longer…..caio

  6. Gian Banchero

    Ah, Piazza Navona! When I live in Rome one summer the only way to cool off was to sit at the fountain with coffee and a book in hand. Thanks for the memories, and thank you for the splendid, splendid photos.

  7. Claudia McCadden

    How beautiful!!! Last year we just looked through the scaffolding, that was not a great sight. When we return to Rome next May, I cannot wait to see the results. Piazza Navona is one of our favorite places in Rome.
    Thanks so much for the wonderful photos. It does bring back memories of our Rome visit last year!!!!


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