Project Description

Mosaic floor with peacock motif, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice

 

Project
Conservative restoration of the mosaic floor with peacocks

 

Location
Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice

Project director
Procuratoria di San Marco

Contractor
Procuratoria di San Marco

Funding
Bottega Veneta;
Venetian Heritage through the
fundraising campaign #supportvenice

Start date
May 2020

End date
December 2022

Cost
€ 151.392,00

The exceptional high tide that hit Venice last November 2019 submerged the entire floor of Saint Mark’s Basilica causing serious damage to the precious mosaics that cover the floor area of the narthex and the side aisles. Venetian Heritage, thanks to the generous donation received from Bottega Veneta during the fundraising campaign #supportvenice, contributed to the restoration of a portion of the mosaic floor depicting two standing peacocks in front of a central vase from which branch out two garlands of plants, creating a foothold for the two symmetrical birds. In the church, there are four peacock couples, two in the right aisle and two in the left one. The mosaic portion currently being restored is the only one still retaining the original materials from the XII-XIII century and was used in the XIX century as a model for the reconstruction of the other three couples. In Christian representations the peacocks symbolized immortality, referring to the tale of the incorruptness of their meat. Thanks to the installation of an open construction site, churchgoers and visitors have had the opportunity of admiring the restoration process as well as the mosaic masters of the Procuratoria di San Marco at work.