Spectroscopic characterization of historical building materials: The case study of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Venice, Italy)

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  • Published: Nov 20, 2017
  • Author: Giulia Carolina Lodi, Lavinia De Ferri, Giulio Pojana
  • Journal: Journal of Raman Spectroscopy


The building designed by Sansovino in 1532 as the new Mint of Venice underwent a change in its intended use, becoming in 1900 the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. A spectroscopic study concerning the surface stone materials of the current reading room (previously a courtyard) was attempted since the transformation lead to heavy micro‐ and macroclimatic variations.

Many alterations were observed, such as blackening, cracking, incrustations, and mortars powdering. The employed techniques, such as Raman and Fourier Transform InfraRed‐Attenuated Total Reflectance spectroscopy, allowed identifying the substrate main components and their alteration phases, mainly sulfates and nitrates.

These data represent important information when approaching such a famous building because every further intervention must be based on accurate scientific results.

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