Lecture 009.015


This report describes the conservation of an UP7 also known as Il Piede, a monumental sculpture of a human foot from 1969 by Gaetano Pesce. Il Piede is supposed to be restored for an interior, however it should no longer be used as seating furniture but rather as an exhibit protected from mechanical load. The report starts by describing the fabrication technology of Il Piede, which should provide a better understanding of the object’s materials, their characteristics, aging behaviour and damages. Material analyses (FTIR, SEM) of the work have revealed that the body consists of polyurethane foam1 and the coating is an PUR-elastomer. Subsequently the elaborated conservation concept is in- troduced. An inappropriately affixed adhesive tape shall be removed. To prevent further loss of material of the original coat- ing due to mechanical influence, the detached coating should be fixed to the foam. Moreover this measure should ensure the pro- tection of the foam against any influence of light and humidity. The losses in the black elastomeric coating shall be closed with inlays in order to restore the original aesthetics of Il Piede. Partial areas of the coating will be reconstructed in order to close the loss. Through the molding of the surface structure and the preparation of models, the inlays are adapted to the original surface and remain recognized as such by the circulating joint. The con- solidation of the coating and the inlays furthermore protect the foam material against any impact of light and humidity. It should remain evident which parts of the coating are the originals and which ones are the reconstructed inlays. Regarding conservation ethics and the aesthetics of the here introduced Il Piede, the elab- orated preservation and conservation measures led to a good re- sult. The methodology of the reconstruction of an elastic inlay is applicable to objects with similar material qualities, however the selection of the material must be adjusted to each individual case. The approach for removing an adhesive tape is also trans- ferable to other cases, depending on the underlying material and the adhesive tape.

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