Antiques: Ancient Church in Rome, Restored and Imagined
THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Eve Kahn
A detail of a mural at Santa Maria Antiqua, one of the oldest churches in the Roman Forum.
ITALY -- By the eighth century one of the earliest churches in Rome was considered quaint enough to be called Santa Maria Antiqua. In September, Santa Maria Antiqua is scheduled to reopen for tour groups by invitation, and the public is scheduled to be allowed in next year. Analysis and conservation, under way since 2001 and partly financed by the World Monuments Fund, are nearly complete. The portraits of saints, surrounded by images of date trees and improbable fringed curtains, will remain partly unrestored and noticeably eroded. [link]