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Title: Architecture surfaces conservation: (re)discovering sgraffito in Portugal
Authors: Salema, Sofia
Aguiar, José
Keywords: Architecture surradores
Issue Date: Sep-2008
Abstract: This paper shows the particular value of sgraffito as an architectonic surface. The recent discovery of an unknown and wide presence of sgraffito in some urban and rural Portuguese architecture, the risks it faces today, forgotten or confused with other mural decorative techniques, led us to alert to the need to safeguard its material authenticity. Although the current culture of conservation and restoration assumes as a sine qua non condition the conservation of the substance as a cultural value, interventions in sgraffiti ornaments often use criteria adapted from industrial building techniques rather than conservation. Unfortunately, unfamiliarity to its particular technique is usually the case, resulting in an inadequate “restoration” or “recovery” process. An example is the application of painting layers over sgraffiti ornaments, causing serious loss of authenticity and value in historical buildings. In this paper, we present some recent results of our research, showing unknown presence of sgraffito in historical architecture, describing the general concept of its application and the particular techniques of Portuguese sgraffito. The panorama of corpus of sgraffito in Alentejo, is compared with other national and international cases. Examples where the technique of sgraffito was subverted are included in order to demonstrate the dangers it is facing. Finally we put forward some recommendations to improve the quality of restoration and urban rehabilitation operations, towards a more sustainable, comprehensive and integrated management of this cultural heritage.
Type: lecture
Appears in Collections:CHAIA - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais
ARQ - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais

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