Pompeii fresco in House of Ceii glows with vivid colours after restoration

Ancient hunting scene fresco in Pompeii's Casa dei Ceii comes back to life with help of laser technology.

Pompeii has completed a major restoration on a large fresco in the garden of the House of the Ceii, bringing back to life its intense colours, with the help of laser technology.

The fresco, which decorates the back wall in the garden of the Casa dei Ceii, depicts a hunting scene with wild animals from the Nile Delta and Pygmies amid Egyptian landscapes featuring temples.

It was relatively common to decorate gardens walls in the ancient city, according to the Pompeii archaeoglogical park, while the specific theme in this fresco may indicate an interest in the Egyptian world and the cult of Isis on behalf of the owner, believed to have been the magistrate Lucius Ceius Secundus.

Casa dei Ceii garden fresco before restoration. Photo Luigi Spina, courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

Experts from the Pompeiii archaeological park restored the fresco both by hand and with laser technology, bringing back to life the vivid colours that had faded over the centuries.

There had been a progressive deterioration of the frescoes, especially in the lower parts most affected by humidity, compounded over the years by a lack of adequate maintenance and unsuitable restoration practices.

Fresco detail. Photo Luigi Spina, courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

However, thanks to the recently completed works, the film of paint was cleaned using a laser, recovering significant sections of the fresco, particularly the botanical details.

Measures were also undertaken to ensure that the fresco would be protected from any future infiltration of rainwater.

Restoring Casa dei Ceii frescoes. Photo Luigi Spina, courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

Excavated between 1913 and 1914, the domus dates to the late Samnite period in the second century BC, according to the Pompeii archaeological park.

Last week the Italian culture ministry appointed 39-year-old German archaeologist Gabriel Zuchtriegel as the new director of Pompeii, succeeding Massimo Osanna who takes over as director of Italy's state museums.

Photos by Luigi Spina, courtesy Pompeii Archaeological Park.

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Pompeii fresco in House of Ceii glows with vivid colours after restoration

Via Plinio, 26, 80045 Pompei NA, Italy