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Opening hours until November 05: 9 a.m. - 19 p.m.
Opening hours until November 05: 9 a.m. - 19 p.m.

2022: Restoration work on the painted decorations

A major project to restore the paintings of the Palais des Papes

The Palais des Papes preserves nearly 3900 square meters of painted decoration distributed in 27 rooms and spaces. This exceptional collection is made up of French and Italian paintings from the XNUMXthe century as well as paintings from the XNUMXe - XVIIIe centuries. The XNUMXth century paintings adorning this palace are important in the history of Western painting.

In order to promote these painted decorations and ensure their transmission to future generations, the City of Avignon and the State (Regional Department of Cultural Affairs, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Aix-en-Provence), accompanied by the SPL Avignon Tourisme, have decided to devote a multi-year conservation-restoration program to them. This program, called Management plan for the painted decorations of the Palais des Papes, consists of an inventory of all of these decorations together with an assessment of their sanitary condition; he establishes the order of priorities for restoration operations according to emergencies. The scientific studies necessary for a better knowledge of each complex as well as a preventive conservation program have also been integrated into this unique management plan.

Its implementation begins in 2022 with an ambitious restoration program covering the rooms of the Great Audience, Conclave and Chamber of Notaries, co-financed by the City of Avignon and the State, which ensures the Scientific and Technical Control of the operation with the assistance of the CICRP (Interdisciplinary Center for the Conservation and Restoration of Heritage, Marseille).
This restoration contract was awarded to the company ARCOA, which specializes in the restoration of medieval wall paintings.

Of these three sites, only the one relating to three sets of the Great Audience (built in the XNUMXth century to house the Church tribunal) is visible to visitors.

Set n°2 (east wall): The Crucifixion (sinopia and fragments of frescoes), Matteo Giovannetti, 1353.
Set n°3 (southeast corner and south wall): false hangings and heraldic decorations, XVIth century.

After a diagnostic phase of each set (visual observations, shots, maps), the ARCOA restorers thus developed protocols submitted for validation by the scientific committee before undertaking the consolidation of the support, the re-fixing of the pictorial layer, the purge of the old fillings then the scouring of the paints. Then came the phase of reintegration of the paintings which makes it possible to give them back the legibility that the attacks of men and time had made them lose.