ICCROM Archives

Italy: On-site repositioning of mural painting fragments, Ovetari Chapel, Church of the Eremitani, Padua

26 May 2023

The 13th-century, Gothic-style Church of Eremitani in the northern Italian city of Padua was decorated with frescoes by the greatest Renaissance artists in the region, most notably Andrea Mantegna. The frescoes, painted between 1448-1457 and depicting scenes from the lives of Saints James and Christopher, were Mantegna's first major commission.

In 1944, the church and its frescoes became collateral damage of World War II, being significantly damaged by a bombing. The destruction of the church and the shattering of Ovetari Chapel’s famous murals into 80 000 pieces has been called Italy’s biggest cultural loss of World War II. 

Learn more here.