S.S. Annunziata Church (L’Aquila, Italy) unveiled by non- and micro-destructive testing techniques

Stefano Sfarra, Eleni Cheilakou, Panagiotis Theodorakeas, Domenica Paoletti, Maria Koui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The present research work explores the potential of an integrated inspection methodology, combining Non-destructive testing and micro-destructive analytical techniques, for both the structural assessment of the S.S. Annunziata Church located in Roio Colle (L’Aquila, Italy) and the characterization of its wall paintings’ pigments. The study started by applying passive thermal imaging for the structural monitoring of the church before and after the application of a consolidation treatment, while active thermal imaging was further used for assessing this consolidation procedure. After the earthquake of 2009, which seriously damaged the city of L’Aquila and its surroundings, part of the internal plaster fell off revealing the presence of an ancient mural painting that was subsequently investigated by means of a combined analytical approach involving portable VIS–NIR fiber optics diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) and laboratory methods, such as environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), and attenuated total reflectance-fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The results obtained from the thermographic analysis provided information concerning the two different constrictive phases of the Church, enabled the assessment of the consolidation treatment, and contributed to the detection of localized problems mainly related to the rising damp phenomenon and to biological attack. In addition, the results obtained from the combined analytical approach allowed the identification of the wall painting pigments (red and yellow ochre, green earth, and smalt) and provided information on the binding media and the painting technique possibly applied by the artist. From the results of the present study, it is possible to conclude that the joint use of the above stated methods into an integrated methodology can produce the complete set of useful information required for the planning of the Church’s restoration phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'S.S. Annunziata Church (L’Aquila, Italy) unveiled by non- and micro-destructive testing techniques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this