Piazza San Marco, Loggetta of the Campanile, 1972-74
Piazza San Marco, Loggetta of the Campanile, 1972-74 This project was adopted because of Venice in Peril Fund's particular focus on stone conservation and because no significant attention had been given to the Loggetta since its rebuilding after the collapse of the Campanile in 1902. It has a facade designed by Jacopo Sansovino in 1537, with bronze statues set in multicoloured marbles. By the 1970s the sculptures and carvings had become badly degraded because of industrial pollution and damage caused by pigeon guano. Under the auspices of Sir John Pope-Hennessy, then director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, pioneering conservation techniques were used, employing materials, equipment, and machinery funded by Venice in Peril. The roof was also repaired. It was the first major restoration project to be completed after the Italian Art and Archives Rescue Fund (IAARF founded after the floods of 1966), was reconstituted as the Venice in Peril Fund. In 1996 Venice in Peril funded a survey to monitor the durability of the 20-year old restoration and provide a scientific basis for future maintenance work.
The architecture and ornament of the Loggetta was inspired by Roman triumphal arches, with richly coloured marbles and ornament, and intended as an appropriate backdrop to ceremonial procession and as a meeting place for prominent Venetians. The iconography of the bronze statues is classical, with Istrian stone reliefs showing allegories of Venice.