Mural paintings in the hypogeal environment of the Tomba degli Scudi in Tarquinia, Italy, show a quite dramatic condition: the plaster mortar lost his cohesion and a white layer coating is spread over almost all the wall surfaces. The aim of this research is to verify if the activity of microorganisms could be one of the main causes of deterioration and if the adopted countermeasures (conventional biocide treatments) are sufficient to stop it. A biocide treatment of the whole environment has been carried out before the conservative intervention and the tomb has been closed for one month. When the tomb was opened again, we sampled the microorganisms present on the frescoes and we identified four Bacillus species and one mould survived to the biocide treatment. These organisms are able to produce spores, a highly resistant biological form, which has permitted the survival despite the biocide treatment. We show that these Bacillus strains are able to produce calcium carbonate and could be responsible for the white deposition that was damaging and covering the entire surface of the frescoes. Our results confirm that the sanitation intervention is non always resolutive and could even be deleterious in selecting harmful microbial communities.

A role for microbial selection in frescoes' deterioration in Tomba degli Scudi in Tarquinia, Italy / Tomassetti, Maria Cristina; Cirigliano, Angela; Arrighi, Chiara; Negri, Rodolfo; Mura, Francesco; Maneschi, Maria Lorella; Gentili, Maria Donatella; Stirpe, Mariarita; Mazzoni, Cristina; Rinaldi, Teresa. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 7:1(2017), pp. 1-8. [10.1038/s41598-017-06169-0]

A role for microbial selection in frescoes' deterioration in Tomba degli Scudi in Tarquinia, Italy

CIRIGLIANO, ANGELA
Co-primo
;
NEGRI, RODOLFO;MURA, FRANCESCO;STIRPE, MARIARITA;MAZZONI, Cristina;RINALDI, Teresa
Ultimo
2017

Abstract

Mural paintings in the hypogeal environment of the Tomba degli Scudi in Tarquinia, Italy, show a quite dramatic condition: the plaster mortar lost his cohesion and a white layer coating is spread over almost all the wall surfaces. The aim of this research is to verify if the activity of microorganisms could be one of the main causes of deterioration and if the adopted countermeasures (conventional biocide treatments) are sufficient to stop it. A biocide treatment of the whole environment has been carried out before the conservative intervention and the tomb has been closed for one month. When the tomb was opened again, we sampled the microorganisms present on the frescoes and we identified four Bacillus species and one mould survived to the biocide treatment. These organisms are able to produce spores, a highly resistant biological form, which has permitted the survival despite the biocide treatment. We show that these Bacillus strains are able to produce calcium carbonate and could be responsible for the white deposition that was damaging and covering the entire surface of the frescoes. Our results confirm that the sanitation intervention is non always resolutive and could even be deleterious in selecting harmful microbial communities.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1010651
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