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News May 18th 2017

Work began on the restoration of the wooden main door of Palazzo Diomede Carafa

The restoration of the wooden main door of Palazzo Diomede Carafa, a rare architectural jewel from Renaissance Aragonese Naples, is due to start in a few days’ time.

The restoration project has been promoted by the Campania section of the ADSI – Associazione Dimore Storiche Italiane (The Association of Italian Historical Houses), which has raised restoration funds through lively crowdfunding activity involving the enthusiastic participation of several Neapolitan organisations.

The two aspects of restoration – conservation and consolidation – have been entrusted respectively to Studio Dafne and architects Aldo Benvenuto and Sotiris Papadimitriou. They have been assessed by architect Luciano Garella, Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape of the Municipality of Naples, in conjunction with architect Orsola Foglia and art historian Ida Maglietta, as well as the artistic direction of the Central Institute of Restoration in Rome, which has very kindly offered assistance in the person of Marisol Valenzuela, who directs the Institute’s polychrome wooden sculpture laboratory.

The door, dating back to 1460, is a true masterpiece of cabinetmaking: the inlay shows all the symbols of the Carafa family and the manufacturing traditions that the various branches of the family were engaged in, namely leather tanning and agriculture. This is a concrete demonstration of how the ruling class of the time was involved in production and commercial activities before the Spanish viceroyalty.

The restoration costs were borne by the Campania section of the ADSI, the owners of the apartments in the palazzo, and two private sponsors, Ferrarelle SpA and the Sansevero Chapel Museum.

“A small gesture of social and civil responsibility to protect one of Naples’ ancient monuments” – explains Ferrerelle’s Michele Pontecorvo – “in the hope that this ADSI initiative will be replicated to the benefit of other jewels of our city’s artistic heritage, long awaiting recuperation and valorisation. Collaboration with private companies is essential to create a virtuous network of projects for the good of our city”.

“The Sansevero Chapel Museum” – comments the President of the Institution, Fabrizio Masucci – “has for some time been engaged in the recuperation and redevelopment of the decumani area, having twice promoted the restoration of the statue of the Corpo di Napoli and having recently adopted, embellished, and illuminated the streets in front of the baroque chapel. We could not but enthusiastically accept ADSI’s invitation to contribute to the restoration of the door to one of the most important buildings in our ancient city centre, which locals and tourists will soon be able admire in its original splendour”.

The next step for the palazzo will be to clean the marble portal that frames the door and that represents its indispensable symbolic and architectural complement.

Today’s press conference also opens Cortili Aperti – Artigianato a Palazzo, organised by ADSI, which will open up the courtyards of seven historical buildings in Naples: Palazzo Cellamare, Palazzo Ulloa (later di Bagnara), Palazzo Marigliano, Palazzo Diomede Carafa, Palazzo Pignatelli di Monteleone, and Palazzo Mormando. Palazzo Sansevero and Palazzo Croce Filomarino are still awaiting volunteers to staff the opening.

The Campania section of the ADSI, chaired by Professor Marina Colonna Amalfitano, is proud to have contributed to what is hoped to be the first in a long series of inclusive projects for the recovery of Campania’s artistic and cultural heritage.

Architect Alberto Sifola, who, as a member of the ADSI, has coordinated the project both in terms of direction and execution, underlines the emblematic value of technical, artistic and financial involvement by individuals and institutions, which in this case demonstrates the breadth of the tradition of solidarity in Neapolitan culture.