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Launch of the fundraising campaign for the restoration of the frescoes of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The brothers of the Sacred Convent launch an appeal to all people of goodwill to save the paintings of the seventeenth and fourteenth century masters who have "written" the story of art in Assisi. The aim of the Franciscans is to restore "light" to 620 sq m frescoes in the Lower Basilica that are in need of "care". They will be the extension of the narthex, with paintings by Cesare Sermei, and the Chapel of St. Catherine subject of two restoration and maintenance operations that have already been approved by the Ministry through the Superintendent of Historical and Artistic Heritage of Umbria. The cost of the overall project is €458,616.12, of which 175,999 is for the chapel and 282,617.12 is for the remaining 420 sq m. To donate, just log on to the website where you can find all the information.

The seventeenth-century paintings along the narthex (entrance of the Lower Basilica) attributed to Sermei are damaged by water seepage, the causes of which have long been removed and therefore all that remains is to perform work on decorated surfaces with restoration operations of the adhesion and the cohesion of the layers of painted plaster, and removal of salt efflorescence, and removal of altered fixatives to achieve an aesthetic representation which harmonises the various parts of the decoration.

The Chapel of St. Catherine, work of the Bolognese Andrea de' Bartoli ( 1368) requires meticulous consolidation operations and securing of the paint film, fourteenth century plaster, removal of atmospheric particles and an update of the pictorial reintegration where works performed four decades ago show obvious alterations and "disharmony".

"The great solidarity campaign starts from Assisi to raise public awareness on the importance and value of the frescoes in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. - Father Enzo Fortunato, director of the Press Office of the Sacred Convent of Assisi, declared - a priceless heritage that allows us, after almost 800 years, through the paintings of Giotto, Cimabue, Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Sermei, just to name a few, to convey the extraordinary figure of the Saint through what we call the first film in colour. And it is only thanks to the 'preservation' of their frescoes that today one can still admire the beauty handed down over time".


In the Chapel of St. Catherine, built before 1343, Cardinal Egidio Albornoz was buried before his body was transferred to Spain in 1372. The lower part is covered in white and red stones and decorated with a cycle of frescoes dedicated to St. Catherine of Alessandria, work of the Bolognese Andrea de’ Bartoli (1368). The author himself painted the portrait of Cardinal Albornoz kneeling in front of three saints. Particularly noteworthy are the mullioned fourteenth-century windows depicting eighteen saints, most likely designed by Andrea from Bologna himself and carried out by Giovanni di Bonino and collaborators.


The two operations are part of a restoration and maintenance program wanted and planned by the General Archives of the Sacred Convent of Assisi that has involved the Lower Basilica of St. Francis from completion of the restoration of the entire monument complex which became necessary following the earthquake in 1997. In fact, the Lower Basilica was the part of the monument that the earthquake "spared" from collapse and significant instability and therefore, at the time, was excluded from real restoration and maintenance work, but was limited to monitoring operations that did not highlight the priority for interventions in comparison to other parts that were most affected (Upper Basilica and Convent).


The Chapel of St. Catherine or of the Crucifix (1368) Andrea de' Bartoli said from Bologna, 200 sq m cost €175,999.00

Narthex (XVII century) Cesare Sermei, 420 sq m cost €282,617.12


To participate in the fundraising campaign, you can donate by bank transfer to the "Fondazione per la Basilica di san Francesco in Assisi Onlus" (Foundation for the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi Non-profit organisation) bank account Iban: IT 54 D 02008 38278 000029439407 Swift: UNCRITMJ12 specifying the reason: "Donation - save a fresco" or through the website


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