Preparing to lift the Roman painted plaster

It was felt that the best way of ensuring the paintings’ successful recovery was to adopt the techniques used by N.Davey* in the 1950s to lift the Roman Wall paintings at St.Albans. This involves the application of a temporary backing of plaster of paris and hessian scrim to the rear surface of the Roman mortar.

The Roman mortar was up to 80 mm. thick and given the combined weight of the Roman mortar and the modern plaster backing, it was decided to lift the painting as twelve irregular sections, the size and shape of each section being determined by the major cracks that could be seen in the rear surface of the mortar.

*N.Davey, Britannia, Vol. 3, 1972 (1972), pp. 251-268