Abruzzo Earthquake Uncovered Long-Lost Fresco of Madonna and Child

Monday, April 20, 2009
(phot: Anotonio Pace)

The destructive earthquake that struck Italy two weeks ago has produced one small, but important piece of good news for art conservationists and residents of the village of Rocca di Cambio. Like many of the buildings in the small mountainous town, the local church of San Pietro alla Collegiata was damaged, with its altar pulled away from an adjoining wall. When church officials went inside to inspect the damage, they found a long-lost 11th century fresco depicting the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus on the previously hidden portion of the wall. Experts believe the painting was crafted by an unknown medieval master when the church was built. A similar event occurred once before in Rocca di Cambio, when an earthquake in 1822 revealed another lost painting of the Virgin Mary, the Madonna del Rosario.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


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